Hero and Superhero

 The Guardians: Hero and Superhero by Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino are two  public sculptures at gateway to Bryant Park.   These statues,  one in marble and the other in mirror-polished stainless steel, are located  at the north and south ends of the public plaza at Three Bryant Park between 41st and 42nd Streets .

Saracino is an Italian-born architect and designer based in New York City.  Over the past ten years, he’s exhibited in galleries and museums throughout Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, and Australia.
In 2013, New York’s Museum of Arts and Design featured Saracino’s work in the exhibition “Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital" at MAD museum near Colambus circle.I wrote about this exhibitoin in one of myposts.

Also in 2013, in New York, Saracino designed The Guardians: Hero and Superhero, two 13-foot-tall sculptures, one in marble, the other in stainless steel, which sit at the entrance to Midtown Manhattan’s Bryant Park.
Hero, made in New York of 8,000 pounds of marble, watches over uptown Manhattan.   The 13-foot statue updates Michaelangelo’s David, historical defender of Florence, as a defender of New York City.

White marble slates of the statue   came from the largest quarry in the world, located in Danby, Vermont, whose general manager and owner come from Carrara (Italy), as do many of its workers and much of its equipment. The slates were then brought to New York’s ABC Stone company to be cut and assembled as per the instructions given by Saracino, who was assisted by structural engineers from the New York-based Experion Design Group.
  This statue has been included in the 2014 exhibition in the Gallery of the Academy of Florence, honoring the 450th anniversary of Michelangelo’s death. Hero is a Gift from the Italian Government to the U.S.  The ambassador of Italy to the United States, Claudio Bisogniero, stated: “David: such a strong symbol of Italian cultural heritage, and now a Guardian of the friendship between our two countries".
Saracino, interviewed on the day of the installation in the plaza, said: “I was asked by the Italian Embassy to look at Michelangelo’s David for inspiration. Clearly such a momentous reference was daunting. Yet I was so proud to be able to create a symbol that could represent a gift from my native Italy to New York, that I accepted the extraordinary challenge”.

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