Towering, Naked, Golden, and Heading to Louisville

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David (Inspired by Michaelangelo) by Serkan Ozkaya. (Courtesy 21c)
David (Inspired by Michaelangelo) by Serkan Ozkaya. (Courtesy 21c)

It looks like Louisville is set to out-Michelangelo Florence, or at least out-facsimile the Italian burgh. Those creative folks over at the 21c Museum Hotel already have a reputation as connoisseurs of larger-than-life works of art from penguins to snails to shovels, but now the museum has acquired a 30-foot-tall computer-duplicated statue by conceptual artist Serkan Ozkaya called David (inspired by Michelangelo). (You may remember Ozkaya from his hand-drawn front page of the Courier-Journal a few years ago.) To be more specific, it’s twice as tall as the marble original, painted gold, and heading for Downtown Louisville.

David (inspired by Michelangelo) will be trucked around New York City. (Courtesy Storefront)
David (inspired by Michelangelo) will be trucked around New York City. (Courtesy Storefront)

Ozkaya’s statue was originally made for the 9th International Istanbul Biennial after a Stanford professor 3d-scanned the original David, but the reconstructed foam statue collapsed after six-months of construction. Two composite replicas were made and one of them is headed to Louisville. “I wanted to use the potential of the 3D model to recreate the most precious man-made object; one which I had never seen for myself,” Ozkaya said in a statement. “I took the liberty to imagine it twice as tall and in gold.”

The statue has made it across the Atlantic and is now in New York City where it will serve as the centerpiece of a panel discussion tomorrow at the Storefront for Art and Architecture in Manhattan. Before the event, though, the naked giant will be trucked around New York to take in the sites, including the High Line, Times Square, and Museum Mile. Afterwards, a panel will discuss implications of creating copies, fakes, and replicas, or “doubling.” As Storefront puts it:

The event at Storefront will include a live staging of manifestos, on the topic of Double by a group of distinguished panelists consisting of artists, architects, critics, historians and theorists, discussing the effects, desires and implications in the act of doubling, replicating or copying. The presentation of the manifestos will be followed by a discussion between the presenters moderated by Ozkaya.

I’ll be at the Storefront to report on the statue’s New York reception, but you can watch the event online as well beginning at 6:30p.m. over here. The double-size David will be heading home to Louisville Tuesday evening. A spokesperson for 21c declined to release details on where the statue will end up, but the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported last year that the statue will be placed atop a 15-foot pedestal “in the garden of the 21c Museum.” We’re wondering if that means the Fort Nelson Park across Main Street from the 21c? At a grand total of 45 feet tall, the towering, naked, and golden David (inspired by Michelangelo) is sure to be a spectacle wherever it calls home.

Branden Klayko

Founder and Editor at Broken Sidewalk
Branden is a writer and architectural designer living in Brooklyn. After graduating from the College of Architecture at Washington University in St. Louis, Branden practiced architecture in Louisville where he worked on several large LEED Certified buildings. Branden is the senior web editor at The Architect’s Newspaper, where he covers architecture, design, and urbanism. He has also written about design for Designers & Books, sustainability for Inhabitat, and architecture for the American Institute of Architects. He founded Broken Sidewalk in 2007, an online collaborative promoting architecture and urbanism in Louisville, Kentucky and the Midwest.


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