Bjorn Skaarup Sculpture
Nov 30, 2020-Jun 30, 2021
The Ostrich, Bronze
Although the ostrich is the largest bird, it cannot fly. Longing to take to the air like other winged
animals, this industrious specimen adopts airplane wings and a pilot’s cap. With earflaps fluttering behind, the ostrich attempts to take off, but cannot help remaining on the ground.
My work plays between the limits of nature and culture , says sculptor Bjørn Okholm Skaarup . The animals are thoroughly ‘ culturalized they represent human allegories or use manmade tools.
Bjorn Skaarup has created a contemporary bestiary, or classical book of animals, in bronze. Each sculpture presents a whimsical story or allegory to decipher, with sources ranging from ancient fables and art history to music and modern animation. A giraffe stands on stilts to reach higher; a hippo is in a tutu to become graceful and an ostrich yearns to fly with airplane wings and a pilot’s cap attached to its body.
From 1994 2004, Bjorn Skaarup was an artist at the Danish National Museum, Copenhagen, before moving to Florence and receiving a PhD from the European University Institute in 2009. While in Florence, he studied the work of Renaissance sculptors Donatello, Michelangelo, and Giambologna , learning the vanishing art of large scale bronze casting.
Bjorn Skaarup’s indoor and outdoor sculptures have been the subject of museum exhibitions throughout the world, including the Koldinghus Museum, Kolding, Denmark; the Museo Cenacolo di Ognissanti and Four Seasons Hotel, Florence; and Hotel Cipriani, Venice. In 2015, the Collectivité of St. Barth publically displayed a suite of sculptures throughout the island. In 2016, The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut organized a solo exhibition of Okholm Skaarup’s work, and the following year, his monumetal sculpture, Hippo Ballerina , was exhibited at 64th Street and Broadway, opposite Lincoln Center. Bjørn Okholm Skaarup lives and works in New York City. He is a member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.