Sculptor Lorenzo Quinn triumphantly returns to Venice with yet another monumental installation. Six pairs of hands stretch across the basin of the historic Arsenal, joining together to create a bridge of unity. At almost 50 feet high and 65 feet wide, Building Bridges is a stunning addition to the city as it experiences the Venice Biennale. And for Quinn, it’s a spectacular bookend to his 2017 work in Venice, Support, which garnered worldwide acclaim.
While the hands of Support spoke to the dual nature of humanity and its ability to be both creative and destructive in terms of the environment, Building Bridges focuses wholly on the positive. In an age when walls are being raised to divide us, Quinn looks to spread a message of unity and peace in a city built on bridges.
“Each pair of the sculpture’s hands celebrate one of six universal human values: Friendship, to build on the future together; Wisdom, to make mutually beneficial decisions; Help, to cement lasting relationships; Faith, to trust in your heart and self-worth; Hope, to persevere in worthwhile endeavors; and Love, the fundamental purpose for it all,” shares Quinn, who is the son of Oscar-winning actor Anthony Quinn.
Each set of hands expresses these values through their touch. Whether lightly brushing or gripping strongly, the groups form an undeniable expression that translates universally. Strength, love, and empathy circulate across the sculptural group, which is sure to attract the same type of attention that made Support one of the most buzzed-about art installations of the 2017 Venice Biennale.
The inclusive theme of the work also fits perfectly with its location in the Arsenal. Venice’s historic shipyard is where the powerful Venetian Republic built up its naval fleet from the 12th century onward. It’s also where the commercial ships that helped Venice make its name as a trading empire were constructed. Venice’s reputation as a city continually mixing with different peoples, whether through trade or tourism, aligns perfectly with Quinn’s desire to see a world that’s united across cultures.