Davut sculpture goes to Kentucky 21C museum

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News | 9/19/2011 12:00:00 AM | Göksel Bozkurt

Turkish artist Serkan Özkaya’s Davut sculpture, inspired by Michelangelo’s statue of David, has been reproducedand was sent to a US museum. Özkaya produced the sculpture for the 9th Istanbul Biennial in 2005 but it collapsed during its installation on a pedestal at the exhibition site in Istanbul’s Şişli Square.

The 10-meter Davut sculpture, which has been recreated at the Eskişehir Metropolitan Municipality artist workshops in northwestern Turkey, has been sent to the 21C museum in the Untied States.

Turkish artist Serkan Özkaya reproduced a larger-than-life replica of Michelangelo’s David for the 9th International Istanbul Biennial that took place in 2005. For this production, Özkaya used precise 3-D computer modeling and built the sculpture out of thousands of layers of foam and painted it gold. But the piece collapsed during its installation on a pedestal at the exhibition site in Istanbul’s Şişli Square and was therefore withdrawn from the exhibition.

Eskişehir Mayor Yılmaz Büyükerşen proposed later that Özkaya reproduce the two copies of the sculpture using composite material and these replicas have now been reproduced.

One of the new sculptures, two meters taller than Davut’s first effort, was sent from Eskişehir last Friday. Following transport through varied U.S. cities including New York and Washington by truck, the sculpture will be placed on a five-meter pedestal in the garden of the 21C Museum in Kentucky.

The other copy of the sculpture will be displayed at Sazova Science, Art and Culture Park in Eskişehir.

Inspired by Michelangelo’s

statue of David

It was Özkaya’s desire to experience Michelangelo’s famous statue of David firsthand, a work of art that he refers to as “the most precious manmade object,” that motivated him to make the ultimate copy, a larger-than-life replica of the original.

Özkaya had only ever encountered tourist-bought ornaments and a range of two-dimensional reproductions of David. This situation led him to propose that “such iconic works no longer exist in reality as originals, they have become verbal legends, all about the replicas, the copies, the reproductions and the fakes.”

Using’s Levoy’s

3-D facsimile

In order to realize a David for the Biennial, Özkaya contacted Professor Marc Levoy, one of the pioneers of 3-D fax machine. This invention was originally envisioned as a household appliance, to make possible the faxing of objects from one place to another. To produce such a product for domestic use proved too expensive, but Levoy needed to quench his desire to utilize the machine and because the most appropriate thing to fax proved to be a sculpture, he travelled to Florence and scanned Michelangelo’s statue of David.

Using Levoy’s 3-D facsimile, Özkaya produced his own David, standing several times taller than the original and painted gold. “I am not interested in absolute beauty, but in the beautiful as an ugly memento. Even if you don’t know this work is in the form of Michelangelo’s David, your body andeye will know it is something beautiful and for a moment this recognition will cause time to stand still,” Özkaya once said.



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