Monumental Hands Reach Across Venice Canal as a Symbol of Unity

Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn

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.

Building Bridges is the newest monumental sculpture in Venice by acclaimed artist Lorenzo Quinn.

Venice Sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn

Six pairs of hands stretch across a canal in different gestures showing unity, love, and empathy.

Venice Sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn Building Bridge in Venice by Lorenzo Quinn Sculpture at Venice Biennale by Lorenzo Quinn Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn Sculpture at Venice Biennale by Lorenzo Quinn

“Venice is a World Heritage City and it is the city of bridges,” says Quinn.

Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn Venice Sculpture by Lorenzo Quinn

“It is the perfect location to spread a message of world unity and peace so that more of us around the world build bridges with others rather than walls and barriers.”

Building Bridges by Lorenzo Quinn Sculpture at Venice Biennale by Lorenzo Quinn Sculpture at Venice Biennale by Lorenzo Quinn

Lorenzo Quinn: Website | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Lorenzo Quinn.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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