Eros Bendato, aka “The Head”

Setting for Eros Bendato in St Louis

Setting for Eros Bendato in St Louis

Setting for Eros Bendato in Krakow (bit dark in the dusk)

Setting for Eros Bendato in Krakow (bit dark in the dusk)

Eros Bendato in St Louis

Eros Bendato in St Louis

When we were doing our “Cake Hunting” in St Louis in late 2014, one of the cakes was in the City Garden, downtown. See here for that cake write-up (it was Cake # 94 for us)

It’s an Urban Park and Sculpture Garden and one of the outdoor sculptures is bronze Eros Bendato (Eros Bound, 1999) by Igor Mitoraj. It lies on its side on a slanted granite circle, covered with a stream of water. There in St Louis we wondered if there were two of these sculptures, as in late 2103 we saw an identical sculpture in Krakow, Poland.

We returned to Krakow in June 2015 and, yes, there are 2 of these sculptures!

Nath, Sonya, VIv at "The Head" (Sonya having fun!)

Nath, Sonya, VIv at “The Head” (Sonya having fun!)

"My, what big eye sockets you have!"

“My, what big eye sockets you have!”

The Eros Bendato in Krakow is in the western corner of the main market square (the Rynek Glowny).

The plaque reads “Igor Mitoraj, Eros Bendato, Braz 1999, Dar Artysty Dla Miasta Krakowa 2005 (Given by artist to Krakow in 2005).”

As the one in St Louis, it’s a huge hollow bronze head, laying on its side, and bound with 2 strips of bronze tape. Visitors are fascinated and stop to look, touch it, and take photos on it or next to it. It’s certainly an unusual modern touch in the old square with its gorgeous medieval buildings. People refer to it unofficially as “The Head”.

Polish Igor Mitoraj (born 1944 in Germany, died in Paris in October 2014) was a student headNSV2of Tadeusz Kantor at the Krakow School of Art and he specialized in monumental works, many of them various heads. Fourteen of his works were in an exhibition at the Rynek Glowny from late 2003 to early 2004, after which he gifted this work to the city. At first city officials planned to place it in front of a commercial building, but Mitoraj was unhappy about that and, despite some protests, it was placed in its the current location, back on the main square near the Town Hall Tower. To the surprise of those city officials, the sculpture became a huge tourist attraction and you’re likely to see kids crawling inside the hollow structure, even sticking their heads out of the open eyeholes.

There are 2 more of his sculptures in Krakow (in the courtyard of the Collegium Luridicum and in front of the Krakow Opera building), but we didn’t see them this trip. Just one reason to return to Krakow!

Mitoraj has also studied and exhibited in many other places, including Paris, Italy and Canada.

(Note: I have already posted this in the Mackie250STL blog)


About viviennemackie

Avid traveler, travel writer and photographer. In an earlier life I was a psychologist, but now am an ESL teacher. Very interested in multiculturalism, and how travel can expand one's horizons, understanding and tolerance.
This entry was posted in Krakow, outdoor sculpture, Poland, sights in Krakow and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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