King Nyani - The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut

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The gorilla is a majestic animal and, as it shares 98% of our DNA, is one of our closest relatives. But our cousins are in trouble. There may only be 1000 mountain gorillas left in the wild and fewer than 3800 eastern lowland gorillas. And humans are the reason why. Illegal poaching, war and deforestation are making it harder and harder for this beautiful animal to survive. It’s up to us to save them.

Gillie and Marc have created this monumental sculpture entitled King Nyani. Nyani is ‘gorilla’ translated in Swahili. While traveling in Uganda, Africa, they became entranced by a silverback. The kindness, compassion and empathy he showed for his family made Gillie and Marc want to share the gentle side of this special creature with the world – a side that is often overlooked. Inspired by the iconic story of King Kong, the artists decided to give USA a different slant on the story. Now Americans can fall in love rather than cower in fear as they see his true nature, while becoming the new champions for gorillas and their conservation.

This installation is the largest bronze gorilla sculpture on the planet and gives an interactive experience unlike any other. With his hand large enough to hold one or two people, the public can get up close and personal with this gentle giant where they will undoubtedly fall in love with him. In the movie, Kong picks up Ann in his hand to protect her. Now all of New York is invited to sit in his hand where it’s our turn to protect him.

This is edition no.2 and will be installed at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut.