ARTURO DI MODICA

WORKS/ BIOGRAPHY/ EXHIBITIONS/ BROCHURE
2012
DIFC Exhibition, UAE
2011
Charging Bull barricaded
2010
Shanghai Bund Bull installed
1999
Ellis Island Medal of Honor
1989
Installs Charging Bull without permission
1978
Opens Crosby Street Studio
1977
Rockefeller Exhibition
1973
Moves to NYC
1960
Left Sicily for Florence
1941
Born in Vittoria, Sicily

On the morning of 15 December 1989, Wall Street awoke to find a 3.5 ton sculpture of a bronze bull deposited outside the New York Stock Exchange. Installed in the dead of night, “Charging Bull” was a gift from the artist Arturo Di Modica to celebrate the “strength and power of the American people” in the wake of the Black Monday financial crash. Despite being removed by city authorities within hours of its installation, the bull was later returned due to popular demand and has gone on to become one of the most famous public sculptures in the world, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.

 

Charging Bull is a classic example of Di Modica’s unique style and passion for the city that had become his home for more than 16 years. Born in Vittoria, Sicily on 26 January 1941, Di Modica moved to Florence at the age of 19 when he was enrolled in the world famous Accademia Del Nudo Libero. As a struggling young artist, Di Modica constructed his own foundry to experiment in bronze, earning himself wide acclaim. During this period he also worked extensively with Carrara marble, displaying some of his finest early work at the renowned Studio Nicoli.

 

Having established himself as an artist of repute, Di Modica moved to New York in 1973, opening his Crosby Street studio in 1978 where the majority of his present-day collection was created. The energy and determination of the American people had a profound effect on his work, inspiring many of his best pieces as well as the guerrilla style of installation for which he has become famous. These include several abstract marble sculptures placed in front of the Rockefeller Center in 1977 and a giant bronze horse at the Lincoln Center in February 1986, the latter being a Valentine’s Day gift to the people of New York. This was followed in 1989 by Di Modica’s most famous piece, Charging Bull. In recognition of his contribution to the arts, Di Modica was awarded  the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 1999.

 

Now living between Sicily and New York, Di Modica has emerged as a central figure in the world of sculpture. As ever, his work presents ideals of perseverance, diligence and strength, while displaying great skill and appreciation of detail. In May 2010, the city of Shanghai commissioned a new bull, as a symbol of the city’s energy and dynamism. The “Bund Bull”, as it is known, appears younger and stronger than his American cousin, with reddish features, reflecting China’s emergent superpower status. Di Modica has recently embarked on his most ambitious project to date, the School of the New Renaissance, due to open in 2015. Situated within 25 acres of stunning parkland near Di Modica’s beloved Vittoria, the School includes an open-air theatre and an extensive sculpture park that will ensure Di Modica’s talent inspires generations of students for years to come.