You cannot help but to smile when seeing these images – and that is just the reaction that artist Florentijn Hofman wanted. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that mean the most, and to tap into those feelings, Hofman created his giant yellow duckie with the mission of simply bringing people together through the presence of art.
Treating the Loire as a giant bubble bath, as The Rubber Duck cruises, it brings a message of joy, without political or sociological connotation. Hofman’s work often deals with simplistic happiness – his signature oversized installations serve as diversions that ease the tension of modern life. His work often gives onlookers a moment of serenity amidst times of economic and political turmoil. We can’t help but appreciate this.
“The duck itself is a durable vessel, made from an inflatable plastic shell, a pontoon boat, and a generator to help propel it forward downstream. It gently moves throughout the environment without disrupting the nature of the marine life in the river below. Rising 82 feet by 82 feet wide, the bath time toy conjures up childhood memories and nostalgic narratives, undeniably creating smiles as it passes through each town.”
The Rubber Duck traveled a 40 mile stretch from Saint-Nazaire to Nantes, France as part of the Loire Estuary art exhibition. The Rubber Duck has already delighted the shores of both Osaka and Sao Paulo, and it will likely continue its journey to other waterways around the world, surely spreading joy and smiles everywhere it floats.