If you’re a walker like me, you’ve probably noticed around Monaco’s sculptures the metal legs with small white and red plastic plates with brief information and a QR code. These QR codes, if scanned, provide detailed information about the sculpture, like dates, materials, ownership, its initial intention, its artist’s bio, and the story of how it got to Monaco.
A great example of this is Henri Moore’s ‘Three Part Object’, located in the Petit Jardin on Avenue d’Ostende, which was displayed as part of the Lugano-Monaco cultural exchange in 1996.
This project, which intends to create an interactive map of Monaco’s artistic heritage using QR codes, was timed to coincide with the 100th anniversary of Prince Rainier III’s birth and to commemorate his sculpture acquisition policy. This policy has seen Monaco transform into an outdoor museum, and among its many artworks are Hexa Grace by Victor Vasarely, Adam and Eve by Fernando Botero, a piece by Pomodoro, Renoir, Arman, Bourdelle, de Chirico, Zadkine, Leger, and a shining work by Anish Kapoor in front of the Casino.
Looking to the sea, there’s also the installation La Balançoire aux Balerines on Larvotto beach, created by Louis Cane in 1999 and now part of the Monaco National Art Museum’s collection. I never met Louis Cane, but I did pass his studio in Port Hercule many times on my visits to the studios of Arman, Ernst Fuchs, Botero and Sosno.
It was in this studio of Louis Cane that my mosaic art teacher, Nall Hollis, created his sculpture Japanese Magnolia, which is now at the entrance to Monaco at the Saint Roman crossroad. Claude Rosticher and Gerard Peritti later followed in his footsteps, and Eva Dmitrenko and Celine Pages were the most recent artists there, having created Roses des Vents for the Société des Bains de Mer.
When I was designing my sculpture The Hope for Soma City in Fukushima, which has a twin The Hope of Chernobyl installed outside the National Chernobyl Museum in war-torn Kiev, I had Nall Hollis’ Cadre de Paix in mind. This sculpture can be found near the Porte Neuve on the Rocher, and it has always been the most successful interactive sculpture in Monaco due to its simple boldness, and because it is true to its message.
If you don’t have time to run around Monaco scanning all the QR codes, then you can visit the Chemins Sculptures Rainier3 website and browse the interactive map to find out more about Monaco’s art. There are still a few more art pieces that were not included in this map that have surfaced as a result of local curiosity. Just press ‘start visit’ and let it lead you to the next sculpture.
Sculpture has since ancient times been the pinnacle of art so it is fitting that in beautiful Monaco there is so much of it on show and fortunate that the latest art form: ‘Haut Technology’ has been created to show it off.
PHOTO: The female form in Casino Gardens Max Brodie