TREND and Cracking Art give animal sculptures something to say

TREND Group has worked in collaboration with Cracking Art – an Italian arts movement that has been creating larger than life glass animal sculptures and placing them in public spaces all over the world – applying its unique glass mosaics to create special exclusive editions…

glass mosaiced penguins

Imagine a world where brightly coloured giant snails cling to walls of buildings, full-size benign bears stand silently watching you in the park, or you turn a corner and come face to beak with an 8 foot penguin! This is the world of Cracking Art, an Italian arts movement that has been creating larger than life glass animal sculptures and placing them in public spaces all over the world since 1993.

giant green glass mosaic bear sculpture

Image credit: TREND Group

Its philosophy is to use upscaled animals to create a sense of wonder and surprise to create a catalyst that will trigger reflection and reaction. The innovative use of recycled and regenerative glass is deliberate, highlighting the yin/yang relationship between natural and artificial reality and the inevitability of our world becoming increasingly populated with the ‘unreal’. Versatile, lightweight, practical and virtually indestructible, this ubiquitous material is invading our world in a million everyday forms – a curse disguised as a blessing. A by-product of oil, it represents the delicate balance between natural and artificial worlds.

Cracking Art highlight this with their brightly coloured, fun sculptures that demand attention and convey a serious message. To counter the use of glass, the works are shredded after use and the glass regenerated to create new pieces, closing the loop with controlled and continuous reuse.

Locations are carefully chosen, and public spaces purposely invaded. The colours for each piece are based on the local architecture and landscape with the intention of creating harmony or rupture, camouflage, or intrusion, depending on the message wishing to be conveyed. The aim is to create colourful, lively, striking pieces that have real contact with the audience.

While the anthropomorphic use of animals to convey messages is nothing new, the way Cracking Art does it is fresh and original. Each animal is chosen to represent different characteristics according to the message and highlighted by the choice of bright colours. The Wolf for example represents the herd, individually strong but stronger still in a pack, acting for the common good; the Frog symbolises metamorphosis and the link between the elements of water and earth; the Snail is not just the traveller with his house on his back, but also representative of communication having been adopted as the email symbol; the Bear represents both joy and fear – a wild and ferocious animal on the one hand, yet a child’s toy and protector as a teddy Bear. Penguins immediately remind us of global warming and melting ice threatening habitats and inevitably our own survival.

These unique and precious pieces create intrigue and demand attention, emphasising how the beauty of the natural world must be treasured if we are to keep it. TREND and Cracking Art Bears are covered with handcrafted gold artistic mosaic whilst the Penguins shine with Karma mosaics, adding even more power to their presence.

Cracking Art animals are renowned throughout the world from Bangkok to Moscow, appearing in major cities such as Rome, Florence, Milan, New York, Miami, Dubai and Sydney. Sometimes they only make a temporary appearance, popping up to take the locals by surprise for a few days, while at other times, they are installed on a more permanent basis. But wherever and whenever they appear, they carry a serious message, reminding us of our struggle to maintain the natural world in a future that is becoming more and more artificial.

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Main image credit: TREND Group