Public Sculptures by Claes Oldenburg seen at Rincon Park, San Francisco - Cupid's Span
Public Sculptures by Claes Oldenburg seen at Rincon Park, San Francisco - Cupid's Span

Cupid's Span

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Cupid's Span is an outdoor sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and wife Coosje van Bruggen. Inspired by San Francisco's reputation as the home port of Eros, they began their project trying out the subject of Cupid's stereotypical bow and arrow. The sunken position of the bow became metamorphic: looking like both a ship and a tightened version of a suspension bridge, which seemed to be the perfect accompaniment to the site. As a counterpoint to romantic nostalgia, they evoked the mythological account of Eros shooting his arrow into the earth to make it fertile. The sculpture was placed on a hill, where one could imagine the arrow being sunk under the surface of plants and prairie grasses. By slanting the bow's position, Coosje added a sense of acceleration to the Cupid's Span. Seen from its "stern," the bow-as-boat seems to be tacking on its course toward the white tower of the city's Ferry Building.

Cupid's Span in Rincon Park, San Francisco, California was installed in November 2002 and commissioned by D&DF Foundation, San Francisco. Made from stainless steel, structural carbon steel, fiber-reinforced plastic, cast epoxy, polyvinyl chloride foam; painted with polyester gelcoat in 64 ft. x 143 ft. 9 in. x 17 ft. 3/8 in.