Residents of Rotterdam’s Bospolder-Tussendijken frequently spot bushy-tailed foxes roaming their streets at night, but now, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman has given the carnivorous animal a permanent home in the area. He recently installed a massive “Bospolder Fox” that peers over a busy intersection in the neighborhood. Spanning 16 meters, the fox holds a pink bag in its mouth, a gesture that anthropomorphizes the wild animal, as Hofman asks, “Has the Bospolder Fox stolen something? Is he clearing up litter? Or has he just returned from a shopping spree on the market?”
While the sculptural installation juxtaposes the natural world and urban landscapes, it also serves as a reminder to residents to be welcoming, although many “have developed a certain fondness for the feral intruders,” the artist said in a statement.
The fox is an interloper, a colorful and gracious nocturnal animal that imparts a romantic twist to this story; and romanticism is a longing familiar to newcomers in the city. The inhabitants of Rotterdam come mostly from elsewhere, and they, like the fox, seek a better life in the city. Rotterdam must, therefore, keep its gates open to nature, to newcomers, and to new perspectives.
Similar to the artist’s previous projects, “Bospolder Fox” was designed to allow children to play in between its paws and serve as a sort of shelter. The animal’s vibrant fur stands out against the gray concrete underneath and nondescript building nearby, further magnifying the disparate qualities of the organic and human-made. “The nocturnal creature on velvet paws does not belong in a neat little park but sneaks through the shadowy crevices of the city,” Hofman said.
This public project is part of the artist’s series of sculptural essays, or artworks that should be read as three-dimensional narratives. Keep an eye out for upcoming installations, like this massive panda, on Instagram. (via designboom)