Last year, New Yorkers in and around Pershing Square were treated to the whimsical outdoor sculpture installations created by Danish artist Bjørn Okholm Skaarup affectionately named Hippo Ballerina, Hippo Ballerina, pirouette, and Rhino Harlequin, pirouette.
Now, a smaller version of Hippo Ballerina has been installed at One Dag Hammarskjöld alongside her friends, Hippo Ballerina, pirouette and Rhino Harlequin, pirouette.
Known for creating a contemporary bestiary, or classical book of animals in bronze, each sculpture presents a whimsical story or allegory to decipher, with sources ranging from ancient fables and art history to music and modern animation. Rhino Harlequin, pirouette and Hippo Ballerina, pirouette hail from Skaarup’s Commedia dell’arte series and are his unique take on the Colombina and Arlecchino (Harlequin) characters.
“My animal sculptures are a celebration of life and nature and its many intriguing shapes and creatures,” said artist 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 beloved sculptures have also spent time in Dante Park and on the Flatiron South Public Plaza before Pershing Square. Now, Hippo Ballerina and Friends will be located at One Dag Hammarskjöld through March, 2024. Smaller editions of Skaarup’s works can be found at Cavalier Galleries, 530 West 24th Street, NYC.