Cupid's Span
Average: 5 (1 vote)

More about Cupid's Span

ajardini's picture

Sr. Editor

Claes Oldenburg loves to make giant sculptures out of everyday objects.

In this collaboration with his wife, the artists were inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the “home port of Eros.” I have an inkling that’s a euphemism for saying San Franciscans get laid a lot. What can we say? It’s a city built on freaks and free-love. I don’t know about Greek gods, but there is a gay sex club called Eros in the Castro…

Cupid’s gigantic arrow pierces a hill near the water, imbuing our little city with affection. He’s supposed to be a baby, but I guess Oldenburg imagined he brought in the big guns for us. Probably to assuage angry Giants fans.

The upside down positioning of the arrow ends up working well with the environment, though. The bow and string end up looking like a ship, or alternately the suspension of a bridge which compliments the scenic view of the bay.  If you can tear your eyes away from the nudist bicycle parade.

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Cupid's Span

Cupid's Span is an outdoor sculpture by married artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, installed along the Embarcadero in San Francisco, California, in the United States. The 60-foot (18 m) sculpture, commissioned by GAP founders Donald and Doris F. Fisher, depicts a partial bow and piece of an arrow.

Description and history

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen's Cupid's Span, made of fiberglass and steel, was installed in the newly built Rincon Park along the Embarcadero in San Francisco in 2002. The piece resembles Cupid's bow and arrow, drawn, with the arrow and bow partially implanted in the ground; the artists stated that the piece was inspired by San Francisco's reputation as the home port of Eros, hence the stereotypical bow and arrow of Cupid. Leydier and Penwarden wrote, "Love's trade-mark weapon naturally evokes the city's permissive and romantic reputation, while formally its taut curve resonates wonderfully with the structure of the famous suspension bridge in the background."

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Cupid's Span.