Most cities only have one. Many COUNTRIES only have one. Philly has four.

Posted on 15.06.2013


DSCN7559sPhiladelphia became a special project for me when I realized that it had FOUR sculptures rather than the two I saw mentioned on the Claes and Coosje website. I never would have known, except for the fact that my friend Kristi, who had seen both of the two I knew about with me, emailed me and told me about it. I was annoyed that there were two that were NOT mentioned on the website, until I realized one was a very new commission (and only recently installed) and the other was in the sculpture garden of an art museum and therefore not OVERLY public. As in, not commissioned by a city.

So this week was a bit bitter-sweet as I saw the final sculpture in Philadelphia, thus finishing the city with the most Claes and Coosje sculptures. This, just after having finally finished Germany, the country with the most sculptures (once we take away the US).

I wasn’t expecting the Paint Torch to be THIS BIG. I guess the photos made it seem smaller, or I didn’t understand what I was looking at, but I thought this light would be the size of a normal lamp post on the sidewalk. Imagine my surprise when I turned the corner and was met with a sculpture SO big, that to photograph it well I had to stand across the street from it!

I spent 2 nights and 3 days in Philly, which is the longest I have EVER been in the city, although I have been there plenty of times, mostly to see other Claes and Coosje sculptures:) It’s only ever been a day-trip city for me due to its close proximity to Baltimore, so to get to spend that amount of time there was excellent! I often refer to cities as ‘one-week’ or ‘two-day’ cities, and Philly in 3 days was just enough to feel satisfied, but still want to come back and do more. I saw a LOT of art on this trip (art every day, actually, in multiple locations) and even got to see two of the other three sculptures on more than one occasion, which made me happy. I might not see most of these more than once, and I am happy to say that the ones in Philly will be seen with a decent amount of regularity, if for nothing more than the fact that PHL airport is an excellent international hub.

I saw this first sculptures in Philly in 2011, and the final two in 2013. I’m happy to cross one city off the list and focus on seeing ones in hard-to-reach (or hard-to-have-a-reason-to-visit) places, like Nebraska. Except I actually have a reason to go there, whereas Texas and S Korea… still not so much.

Posted in: art