Igor Mitoraj was born in 1944 in Oederan, in the Saxony region of Germany. He studied painting at the Kraków School of Art and at the Kraków Academy of Art in Kraków, Poland and at the National School of Art in Paris, France. In the late 1960s, fascinated by the art of Latin American and ancient cultures, he spent a year exploring and painting in Mexico. It was there that he first discovered and experimented with sculpture.
In 1983, Mitoraj moved to Pietrasanta, Italy and set up a studio in an area known for its large-scale foundries, as well as the quarries which once supplied Michelangelo with marble.
Though ancient cultures have had a clear influence on his work, Mitoraj did not attempt to copy ancient sculptures, but instead combines ideas from these classical pieces with influences from his experiences to create his unique style.
Mitoraj’s work can be found in the world’s most renowned collections. The celebrated artist is best known for his monumental public creations, many featuring fragmented body parts adorning key locations in countries including Britain, France and Italy. They are displayed in front of the British Museum in London, England; La Scala in Milan, Italy; the Boboli Gardens in Florence, Italy;
the Olympic Park in Geneva, Switzerland; the Abuta Sculpture Park on Hokkaido Island, Japan; and the Runnymede Sculpture Farm in Woodside, California.
He died October 6, 2014.
Eros Bendato (Eros Bound) has the feel of an ancient relic that has been excavated and reconstructed. Artist Igor Mitoraj is inspired by ancient cultures and particularly characters from Greek and Roman mythology. In this sculpture, the dismembered head of Eros, the Greek god of love and desire, lies on its side. The bandages that wrap Eros’s face suggest that the eyes and mouth have been covered indicating that desires and ideas have been imprisoned. The bandages also symbolize two opposing views of the world—either that civilization is broken beyond repair or that it is being held together despite destructive forces.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
ABOUT THE SCULPTURE
Eros Bendato, 1999
89″ x 146″ x 114″
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Scarecrow, 2006 Tom Claassen
Untitled (Two Rabbits), 2004 Jonathan Clarke
Lifestyle, 2006 Niki de Saint Phalle
Adam & Eve, 1985-1989 Jim Dine
Big White Gloves, Big Four Wheels, 2008 Mark di Suvero
Aesop’s Fables, 1990 Jean-Michel Folon
Voyage, 1999 Laura Ford
Bird, 2007 Keith Haring
Untitled (Ringed Figure), 1987 Käi
Love Vs. Money, 2017 Fernand Léger
Femmes Au Perroquet, 1952 Aristide Maillol
La Riviere, 1938 – 1943 Ju Ming
Tai Chi Singlewhip, 1998 Igor Mitoraj
Eros Bendato, 1999 Julian Opie
Kiera & Julian Walking, 2002
Bruce & Sara Walking, 2007 Tom Otterness
Kindly Geppetto, 2001 Mimmo Paladino
Zenit, 1999 Martin Puryear
Untitled (Bench), 2008 George Rickey
Four Rectangles Oblique, 1979 Tony Smith
Night, 1962 Bernar Venet
2 Arcs X 4, 230.5 Degree, Arc X 5, 1999-2000 Erwin Wurm
Big Suit, 2010 Kan Yasuda
Door of Return, 2001 Jack Youngerman