Blending Rennaissance Art and Modern Art
During our visit to Tuscany last week, we were excited to find two shiny modern bronze artworks in Florence’s Piazza Della Signoria.
The sculptures stood only a few metres away from Michelangelo’s ‘David’ and Bartolomeo’s ‘Neptune’. While the modern sculptures were centuries apart from the Renaissance pieces, they were actually ‘close’ in terms of concept…
The first, “The Man who Measures the Clouds” is a figure of a man reaching up to the sky with a ruler.
I loved the whimsy of this piece. It seemed to reflect man’s search for knowledge during the Renaissance.
The second, “Searching for Utopia”, is a giant turtle on which a figure of the artist rides.
I loved the humour of this piece. Apparently, the turtle was a symbol of the Medici family and many artists of the Renaissance period placed figures of themselves in their paintings.
Keen to research the artist, I surfed internet as soon as I returned home.
Jan Fabre is a Belgian artist, playwright, stage director, choreographer and designer with quite a radical reputation!
He is known for several strange works:
- one in which he burned money and wrote the word ‘MONEY’ with the ashes
- one in which he made drawings with his own blood
- one in which he locked himself up for 3 days and nights in a white cube full of objects and drew with blue ballpoint pens
- one in which he decorated the ceiling of the Royal Palace in Brussels with 1.5 million jewel-scarab wing cases
Jan has also been known to affix a commemorative plaque to his parents house that stated “Here lives and works Jan Fabre”. This was his response to another commemorative plaque in the same street which was for Vincent Van Gogh! With confidence/arrogance like that it’s no wonder he decided his works could sit comfortably alongside those of the great Renaissance masters!