The Guardians: Hero and Superhero" by Antonio Pio Saracino in Bryant Park

Two sculptures, by Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, created to mark the Year of Italian Culture in the US, will be installed at gateway to Bryant Park.

The homage to Michelangelo’s David, created with the support of Eni, is in white marble, while the Superhero, commissioned by Equity Office, in mirror polished stainless steel.
The creations by Italian architect and designer Antonio Pio Saracino, installed at the end of November, will be celebrated with an opening reception on December 10, 2013, in the presence of representatives from the Italian Embassy in Washington and the Consulate General of Italy in New York.
About 4 metres tall, the sculptures will be on permanent display at 1095 Avenue of the Americas, in the small plaza the symbolic gateway to Bryant Park, one of downtown Manhattan’s most popular parks, located between 41st  and 42nd Streets.
The Guardians symbolize past and present and are a symbol of the historical relations between the two countries.
Hero is a gift from Italy to the United States donated by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Embassy of Italy in Washington and the Consulate General of Italy in New York, with the support of Eni. Superhero is  commissioned by Equity Office.

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Hero in marble and weighing more than 30 tonnes, is a reinterpretation of Michelangelo’s David, defender of the city of Florence. The sculpture, which was financed by Eni, will dominate the city from 42nd Street like a guardian from the past. Its counterpart, Superhero, who wears a cape that symbolises the present and will watch over the city from 41st Street, is made of stainless steel and weights some 68 tonnes. Both sculptures were made in New York City.

The sculptures Hero and Superhero soar upward through a system of repeated planes of marble and polished stainless steel plates to address the surrounding skyscraper architecture. The materials that form the figures are stacked, creating an outline that suggests the movement of the figures within their environment.

Saracino explains, "I was asked by the Italian Embassy to look at Michelangelo’s David for inspiration. Clearly such a momentous reference was daunting. Yet I was so proud to be able to create a symbol that could represent a gift from my native Italy to New York, that I accepted the extraordinary challenge. I wanted to create two symbolic protectors of New York City that celebrate the superhuman and the inspiration that it communicates. The two anthropomorphic layered architectural constructions show the universal ability of mankind to cement its own presence in the world with its perennial construction skills."

Antonio Pio Saracino is a New York-based Designer and Italian Architect whose work is featured in the current exhibition Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York.

His work is in museum collections internationally including the Brooklyn Museum, the Museum of Art and Design in New York City and the PowerHouse Museum in Sydney.

He participated in the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale and has won numerous awards such as the American Architecture Award from the Chicago Museum of Architecture.

He was named one of the world's 25 most interesting trendsetters by ARTnews magazine and recognized as one of the Top Ten Italian Architects under 36 by the New Italian Blood award. Saracino has exhibited his design work with Industry gallery in Washington D.C., Los Angeles and Dubai, as well as other galleries and museums internationally.

His work has been reviewed internationally in publications such as The New York Times, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, Wallpaper, and Vogue.

Among Saracino’s past public projects are GATE 150 on the occasion of the150th anniversary of the unification of Italy for the Caraffa Museum in Cordoba in Argentina, the 2010-12 Formula 1 World Championship trophy for Eni and as winner of Brussel’s Agorafolly competition, a public installation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Union. In 2003, Saracino graduated cum laude with a Master's Degree in Architecture at 'La Sapienza' University in Rome, where he worked as assistant professor of architectural design.

Saracino's TrophyFor Eni Antonio Pio Saracino designed the trophy for the 2010 Formula One Championship and the 2010 Moto GP Championship.

Eni also commissioned him to produce a dynamic and contemporary version of the traditional six-legged dog.

Using high technology software, Antonio Pio Saracino transformed the body of the dog, its legs and the flame that comes from its mouth, in strong lines that accentuate movement.  

The conceptual efforts made by Saracino were then rendered in 3D stereo -lithography by the Belgian company Materialise.

The body of the Six-legged dog is then melted down, along with other elements, into energy flows that surround the entire trophy. Saracino's Trophy

A concrete example of how technology and art can combine, in a fascinating and emotionally engaging merger. The flow of power that the movement of the six-legged dog shows, celebrates the speed of the riders in the Moto GP and Formula 1 World Championships.

In 2011 Saracino created for Eni the trophy that went to the top three finishers in each category of the German  Moto GP and the top three winners of the Formula One Grand Prix in Hungary.

Last updated on 29/11/13