The artist is Bruno Catalano and I have never forgotten his work since the first time his sculptures impressed their wonder upon me, in a quaint, remote fishing village/artist colony in France in 2012.
Honfleur was majestic in its juxtaposition of being a modest, old town but with the highest concentration of modern art galleries I've ever seen, stacked like toothpicks up and down the cobblestoned paths (photo gallery below). It was an art-lovers dream, so much so that the saturation could be overwhelming. A drunken haze sets in after the 10th gallery; all of the art starts to look the same and you're not quite sure if you've already visited this gallery you're standing in. I tell you this to emphasize how special a piece of art truly needed to be to occupy a lasting space in one's memory. And, for me, that was the image you see above (left).
Never again did I cross paths with these stunning pieces. That is, until yesterday, exactly three years later.
Imagine my utter astonishment (and quickly, excitement) when I saw these unmistakeable figures staring at me from a fluorescent gallery window on Central Park South. I was walking along, minding my business...ok, I won't go there but that's exactly how I felt. I was strolling but still at a New Yorker's pace, so the double take was first, a casual glance from my periphery, and then, a full-on stop-in-your-tracks head rotation, body-freeze, back-track.
I honestly couldn't believe it. There he was, like a long-lost love, right under my nose for who knows how long. (I immediately looked up the gallery and found that they are under the umbrella ownership of Galeries-Bartoux, along with others, mostly present throughout France, but reaching Singapore and of course, New York.) It was one of those gratifying moments that is unique to traveling. Connecting the dots of things you've seen and experienced, converging serendipitously, often times, unexpectedly (which is exponentially rewarding). This is the stuff of life that puts me in a tizzy.
According to his profile on the gallery website, the theme of travel has always inspired Catalano. Well, my friend, you're preaching to the choir.
Life & Travel Through a Cultural Lens