Who is the unknown Amsterdam sculptor?
August 23, 2012 11:27 AM   Subscribe

The violin player in the Stopera. The man trying to catch the tram near the Marnixstraat. The little lumberjack. The fondled breast on the Oudekerksplein. The small, disappearing, reappearing bronze statue of a man lying on his back, in the same pose as Theo van Gogh was found after his murder. All bronze or iron statues found in Amsterdam which have one thing in common: nobody knows who made them.

All these statues were installed in the dead of night, often without official sanction and the person or persons responsible for them have never been publically identified. The Amsterdam city council, which has bought several of these statues, does know who the sculptor is, but has been sworn to secrecy, a condition the sculptor insisted on when selling these sculptures. According to the city council, the only thing they could reveal about him was that he was a retired medical professional who creates them as a hobby.

Many people who know of the statues however find that unlikely, as it's not that easy to just put in a statue somewhere, even in Amsterdam and especially not in the professional manner with which they have been installed. This must have been a professional, talented sculptor, but also somebody with enough influence to get their statues installed for them by a city notoriously difficult to bend the rules for anybody, somebody whose true indentity is so sensitive they have no choice but to create these statues anonymously.

Which means there's only one choice: it has to be the queen (Dutch only unfortunately).
posted by MartinWisse (15 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Babelfished queen link.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:43 AM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Those bronzes are simply amazing.
posted by francesca too at 12:03 PM on August 23, 2012

These are great.
posted by JanetLand at 12:31 PM on August 23, 2012

There's something appealing and compelling about The Queen being subversive. It's healthy and refreshing.
posted by Xoebe at 12:42 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

These are terrific. If no on else wants to claim credit, I will.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:51 PM on August 23, 2012

Beatrix studied law at university, is now 74 years old, and is under considerable public scrutiny. Is it really credible that she would have been able to become that good a sculptor without anyone noticing? Or that she would still be churning them out at an advanced age without anyone noticing?

I couldn't read the dutch article, or even the babelfished version, so apologies if this was answered somewhere in that.
posted by ubiquity at 1:00 PM on August 23, 2012

posted by trip and a half at 1:08 PM on August 23, 2012

I want to believe.
posted by digitalprimate at 1:55 PM on August 23, 2012

MartinWisse: Which means there's only one choice: it has to be the queen (Dutch only unfortunately).
Nonsense. She was too busy murdering prostitutes in 19th-century London to learn sculpture.

"Jacque(line) le rippère", indeed. As if we wouldn't figure it out...
posted by IAmBroom at 2:19 PM on August 23, 2012 [1 favorite]

Ha. That would be simply great.
Great story.
posted by joost de vries at 2:20 PM on August 23, 2012

How did you know I leave for Amsterdam in 10 days?



Met vriendelijke groet.
posted by humboldt32 at 3:24 PM on August 23, 2012

Did they just tell every would be sculptor cum merry prankster, "Bring it on!" or purpose? I mean, sure, in the long run it's likely to save them a lot of money on public art.

On the other hand....
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:52 PM on August 23, 2012

Remember the dude in Toronto that started by chaining highly modified artefacts like books to fences and poles, and then graduated to actually affixing similar artefacts to concrete poles with universal joints and epoxy.

It is actually pretty easy to walk up to a urban installation and mod the shit out of it.
posted by clvrmnky at 5:12 PM on August 23, 2012

Well I'm not convinced it's the queen, but these are really lovely. I like the violin player and the Theo van Gogh ones the best. Disruptive but not aggressive.
posted by harriet vane at 4:29 AM on August 24, 2012

The lumberjack and the man catching the train are my favorites. They remind me of Chris Van Allsburg characters.
posted by koucha at 8:32 AM on August 24, 2012

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