In December, The Ringling hosted Brooklyn-based artist Leonard Ursachi as he installed a large styrocrete sculpture on our grounds. Titled Fat Boy, it is the latest in the artist’s series of “bunker” sculptures. As a Romanian-born American, Ursachi grew up under a dictatorship from which he defected in the early 1980s. For years, he has been creating sculptures in the form of bunkers, influenced by his time spent in Communist Romania where bunkers dotted the landscape. Some were remnants of the last war; many were built during the Cold War to instill fear—a government-sponsored bunker mentality.
For Fat Boy, Ursachi based its form on a classical Western putto. Since antiquity, putti have been malleable signifiers, representing, among other things, Eros, heaven, peace, and joy. Fat Boy’s title refers not only to his plump, cherubic face, but also to the names of the WWII atomic bombs, Little Boy and Fat Man. With its twin references to Eros and war, Fat Boy speaks to the complexities of desire and violence inherent in the formation and transformation of identity. Its installation on The Ringling grounds introduces interesting references to the sculpture that John Ringling acquired in the 1920s, including putti, dwarves, and Roman gods.
Fat Boy is located on the The Ringling’s Millennium Tree Trail and will be exhibited through June 2014.
for more information http://www.ringling.org/events/fat-boy