The gargantuan rubber duck design by Florentijn Hofman will be making its U.S. debut in Pittsburgh this fall! The rubber duck will be floating (assisted by a few tugboats) on the Allegheny River on September 27th as part of a featured opening event during the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts.
Pittsburgh will be hosting a wide arrange of family friendly international events that range from theatre shows to unique art displays. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust sponsors the festival that will begin on September 27th and run until October 26th. The most talked about attraction being the 54 ft. rubber duck.
The massive duck has appeared in many different cities throughout the world, the most recent being Hong Kong. Until recently, the appearance of the rubber duck in the United States was kept very much a secret. It was released that the duck will start its journey in Pittsburgh by the West End Bridge and then continue to the Point to Fort Duquesne. The 6th St. Bridge will close for a period of time for celebrations!
Florentijn Hofman, from the Netherlands, is famous for his larger than life art pieces. So, why did Hofman choose a giant floating rubber duck to travel around the world? Hofman explains the symbolism of the rubber duck:
“The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn’t discriminate people and doesn’t have a political connotation. The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve mondial tensions as well as define them. The rubber duck is soft, friendly and suitable for all ages!”
While reading the usual depressing daily news on popular news outlets, seeing a picture of a giant rubber ducky instantly made a smile appear on my face. In today’s world there are so many negative pressures in our societies that range from economic to political unrest. The image of the rubber duck is nostalgic to the innocence of childhood and happiness. There are no negative cognitions or associations connected to a rubber duck symbol. The excitement surrounding the appearance of the duck throughout the world displays the want for a temporary break from the stresses of everyday life.
From singing along to “The Rubber Ducky Song” with Ernie on Sesame Street, to playing with the little floatable toy in the tub, the buzz about the rubber ducky appearance will inspire the inner child in everyone to come forth. I am very excited to see Hofman’s gigantic Rubber Duck to appear in Pittsburgh. Make sure to check out this fun spectacle that will make all ages smile and laugh.
For more information about the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts events check out: http://trustarts.org/events/pages/pittsburgh-international-festival-of-firsts/
To see more pictures of Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck go to: http://www.florentijnhofman.nl/dev/project.php?id=192