florentijn hofman: rubber duck + signpost 5 + musk rat.

I first noticed Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman for “Beukelsblue”, where, just like his compatriot Henf Hofstra who painted an entire city street, he doused an entire city block of buildings in Rotterdam bright cotton-candy carcinogenic blue.

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What is up with the Dutch painting everything they can get their hands on blue? It’s like their favourite thing; They can’t get enough of it. Anyway, I love them dearly because their art is just so gloriously freakishly random and Hofman is no different. He just seems to have the power to take seemingly ludicrous and all-together quite possibly pointless idea bubbles and convert them into reality. For this I admire him to no end. Case in point: 2007’s “Rubber Duck”.

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He floated a gigantic rubber duck down the Loire River in France. By gigantic, I mean this fucker is 26 metres tall. That’s 85 feet. Plus the artist’s description on his site basically fills me with glee: “People have gathered and watch in amazement as a giant yellow Rubber Duck approaches. The spectators are greeted by the duck, which slowly nods its head. The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation.” So true – if you’re weary of the whole Obama vs. Hillary debate, just look to the duck!

In 2006, Hofman also gave the world “Signpost 5”. A celebration for the the 5th anniversary of the Schiermonnikoog Chamber Music Festival (I wish I was making that up, but I’m not – you read it right, Schiermonnikoog bitches…), he envisioned a series of three huge grand pianos washed up onto the shore. Lucky beachcombers could then explore, climb about, picnic on, or even sleep inside the beached pianos.

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I think we can all agree that his pièce de résistance, however, is 2004’s “Musk Rat”. Simply, he built a 12 metre tall thatched musk rat reclining against a life-sized cottage. Why? Why the hell not! The musk rat is lampin’, y’all. Only in the Netherlands…

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