Fortuna’s Fountain Stephan Balkenhol

Sneek
Atop a golden orb out on the water stands a man holding a horn of plenty. The statue is a reference to Fortuna, the goddess of luck and the patron deity of cities, families and peoples. The overflowing horn symbolises the material prosperity of those lucky enough to come into contact with it. The golden orb, however, rotates ceaselessly on its axis, so that the water – like the currents that bring good fortune – becomes a wild and unpredictable force. The bounty that happens to wash over us at one moment may be taken away by fate, just as quickly as it came. Just look at the history of Sneek.
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities
New cultural heritage
in eleven Dutch cities

Inspiration: Sneek’s periods of great prosperity and decline
Material: bronze, coating
Size: appr. 3 m high
Location: in the water of the Hoogend, the old city centre

Stephan Balkenhol (Germany, 1957) lives and works in Germany and France. Balkenhol made his international breakthrough in the eighties with figurative wood sculptures, something that for a long time was ‘not done’ in the art world. Virtually all his work consists of human figures that have obviously been hacked out of large tree trunks by means of hammer and chisel. They often poke fun at us in subtle, humorous ways. Balkenhol has built up a sizeable repertoire of public commissions, many of which deliver an unexpected ‘commentary’ on their location. One much-discussed work was the sculpture of a man in the River Thames, which many thought was actually a person drowning. In the Hamburg zoo, a little man has wrapped himself around the neck of a giraffe. Balkenhol exhibits his work worldwide in major museums and galleries, and his wooden and bronze sculptures have made their way into prominent international collections. He is considered one of the most important contemporary sculptors of our time and has numerous prizes to his name.

www.stephenfriedman.com

Fountains