Arturo Di Modica Wiki – Biography
He was an Italian-born, naturalized American sculptor known for his Charging Bull statue in the New York Stock Exchange Building.
Di Modica came broke from Sicily and achieved success after being discovered in his early 20s – when the famous sculptor Henry Moore noticed his talent. Di Modica worked most of his career outside of the official art market and met directly with collectors such as Joe Lewis, the former owner of the Christies auction house.
In 1999, Di Modica received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his contribution to the arts.Di Modica was born in Vittoria, Sicily, in 1941, shortly before the Allied invasion during World War II. It was inspired by the ancient Greek and Roman works of his childhood home. [Citation needed] When his father did not want him to become an artist, he flew to Florence by steam train at the age of 18 to pursue a career as a sculptor.
When he arrived in Florence, Di Modica took small jobs to survive. He didn’t have the money to use the local foundries he had built – he was forging his tools too. His first major show at Villa Medici in 1968 featured primarily rough abstract bronze casts.
In the late 1960s, Di Modica started working with marble in Italian Carrara studios, where he met Henry Moore. Moore would later call him ‘the young Michelangelo’. Moore had a strong influence on Di Modica, who later developed a new style. By 1970, Di Modica was disappointed with the limitations of Florence for his career and moved to New York.
Arturo Di Modica Died
The artist, who carved the bronze sculpture Charging Bull, which became the iconic symbol of Wall Street in New York, passed away at the age of 80 in his hometown of Sicily.
Arturo Di Modica died at his home in Vittoria on Saturday evening. It was stated that Di Modica had been sick for a while.
The sculptor lived in New York City for over 40 years. He arrived in 1973 and opened an art studio in the city’s SoHo district. Di Modica installed an unauthorized bronze bull statue in New York’s financial district on the night of December 16, 1989, using a truck and crane.
The artist reportedly spent $ 350,000 of his money to create the 3.5-ton bronze monster that symbolized the resilience of the US economy after a stock market crash in 1987. It was a time of crisis. “The New York Stock Exchange lost more than 20% overnight, and so many people fell into the darkest of depression,” he said.
He said he designed the bull statue as a “joke, a provocation.” Instead, it has become something cursedly serious, destined to be one of New York’s most visited monuments.
In an interview with La Repubblica, Di Modica described how his 40 friends, a crane and a truck carried out a lightning-fast operation to erect the statue near Bowling Green park, a short walk from New York Stock Exchange headquarters. without official permission.
“Five minutes. Operations shouldn’t have taken longer. Otherwise, we’ll take a big risk,” he recalled. “After several expeditions, I discovered at night that the police go to Wall Street every 7-8 minutes.” When the sculptor and his friends arrived at his chosen spot, they were surprised to see a Christmas tree planted there. They dropped the bronze bull anyway and took out a bottle of champagne, as the artist said.
Di Modica left Vittoria, Sicily at the age of 19, to go to Florence where he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts.
At the time of his death, he was working on prototypes of the twin horse sculpture he was planning to build for the Sicilian town. It was designed as a 40-meter-high (132-foot-high) study to be built on the bank of a river.
The town declared an official mourning Monday, when Di Modica’s funeral would be held at Vittoria’s Church of St. John the Baptist.