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 Volume 14, Issue 62  |  August 5, 2022


“Art in Public Places” – Lola and the Bird and The Violinist by Vincent Magni 

By DIANNE RUSSELL

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Some of the art you see around Laguna Beach is the result of two city programs: “Public Art and Murals” and “Art in Public Places.” The goals of the Public Art and Murals and Art in Public Places (adopted in 1986) initiatives are to create diverse art installations of the highest quality that will, over decades, reflect the city itself and its citizens, and improve the quality of life; and to be a source of pride to all Laguna Beach residents. 

Lola and the Bird and The Violinist were created by Vincent Magni and installed in 2007. Reversing an earlier decision, the Arts Commission recommended in September 2006 that a pair of sculptures by Magni – donated by the Lew Geiser Trust – be placed at the corner of Bluebird Canyon and Oriole Drive, on land owned by the city. 

art in both sculptures

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“Lola and the Bird” and “The Violinist”

The commission also recommended that the two works be selected from two different sets of Magni works instead of purchasing one set “off the shelf” from the Paris gallery that sold his work.

The work commemorates the Bluebird Canyon landslide as well as honoring longtime canyon resident Geiser, who died April 1 in his landslide-damaged home.

Painter and sculptor Magni’s fascination for art began at a young age, as he spent his summer afternoons watching his father paint. Magni said, “My artworks make me laugh.”

art in lola and the bird

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“Lola and the Bird” 

 Magni was born in St Etienne France in 1963. A multidisciplinary artist, Magni chose to set his sights mainly on sculpture. He currently lives and works in France, in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, in the Yonne. It is the place where he created in 2006, in an old industrial wasteland of 10,000 square meters, a village of artists called “The Poetry,” where he invites other creators to come to settle there. 

According to www.artsper.com, “This place allows him to overcome the constraints of space and handling to finally embark on achievements that live up to his artistic dreams, monumental sculpture.” 

art in the violinist

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“The Violinist” 

An innovative and inspired sculptor, the characters Magni creates are a tribute to life and movement, while respecting the materials used. Magni uses the most modern materials: stainless steel, concrete, Corten steel or even oxidized metal, while using the simplest and most natural materials, such as stones or pebbles, to translate emotions into sculptures. This results in works that sometimes seem to have come from a different age, from an era in which they were fashioned by the first men. 

art in merging statues

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When viewed from the side, the sculptures seem to merge

A permanent dialogue, between materials and eras, invites the viewer to a genuine reflection about time. Exposed by numerous galleries throughout the world (Europe, U.S., China...), the works of Magni seduce, amuse and question our relation to the world and to life.

For more information on Vincent Magni, go to www.vincentmagni.com.

This is the 70th article in our weekly series featuring Art in Public Places. Since there are more than 100 pieces of public art scattered throughout Laguna, it will take a while to cover them all.

For a map of Art in Public Places (not every piece is listed), click here

To apply for the Arts in Public Places program, click here.

 

Shaena Stabler, President & CEO - [email protected]

Lana Johnson, Editor - [email protected]

Tom Johnson, Publisher - [email protected]

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut and Scott Brashier are our photographers.

Alexis Amaradio, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Marrie Stone, Sara Hall, Suzie Harrison and Theresa Keegan are our writers and/or columnists.

In Memoriam - Stu Saffer and Barbara Diamond.

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