The 2.5-ton bronze Hippo Ballerina sculpture, designed by Danish artist, Bjørn Okholm Skaarup, returned to NYC’s Pershing Square Plaza West last year.
Prior to that, the dazzling dancer had taken up residency in Dante Park, Flatiron South Public Plaza, and the Girl Scouts of America Building.
Now, a miniature version of the beloved sculpture has twirled its way to One Dag Hammarskjöld in Midtown East. And this Hippo Ballerina isn’t just a solo act! Joining the 1,000-pound sculpture is Hippo Ballerina, pirouette and Rhino Harlequin, pirouette.
Skaarup took inspiration from Degas’ Little Dancer Aged Fourteen and the dancing hippos of Walt Disney’s Fantasia to create the original iconic piece.
Each sculpture draws from a variety of sources ranging from ancient fables to art history as viewers are encouraged to uncover the “whimsical story or allegory” behind them.
Both Rhino Harlequin, pirouette and Hippo Ballerina, pirouette are from the artist’s Commedia dell’arte series.
“My animal sculptures are a celebration of life and nature and its many intriguing shapes and creatures,” said Bjørn Skaarup. “Each animal is thoroughly culturalized; representing human allegories or use manmade tools, all placed in peculiar and surreal encounters between nature and culture. The result is a group of bronze sculptures that combines the gracious and exclusive with the communicative, distorted, and humorous.”
The sculptures will remain on display through March 2024. So next time you’re strolling through Midtown East, be sure to twirl your way to them.
People can view more works from Skaarup at Cavalier Galleries located on the fourth floor of 3 W 57th Street, New York.
Where: One Dag Hammarskjöld, Midtown East
When: Through March 2024