Check out this whimsical interactive bicycle sculpture by acclaimed NYC artists Gillie and Marc

Published May 2024

Cyclists and art enthusiasts alike have a new reason to visit Toronto’s Entertainment District. A striking bronze sculpture by the internationally acclaimed artistic duo Gillie and Marc has been installed at David Pecaut Square. Titled “He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place,” this interactive piece invites the public to join in on a symbolic cycling journey, spreading messages of equality, acceptance, and conservation.

Gillie and Marc Schattner, celebrated by The New York Times as “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s history,” are known for transforming public spaces with their thought-provoking works. Their latest sculpture for Toronto is no exception, designed to invite interaction and engagement.

This piece of bicycle art features Rabbitwoman and Dogman, two of the artists’ beloved characters, along with a northern white rhinoceros, all riding a bicycle built for four. The public is encouraged to take the fourth seat and join this whimsical ride.

“Our characters Rabbitwoman and Dogman are like our own reflections, blending humanity with the wild. They’re out there, spreading the message of conservation, inspiring people to care for our planet and its creatures. It’s heartwarming to see others connect with them, having fun while learning about wildlife,” Marc shared.

This unique piece is not just a testament to artistic creativity but also a powerful symbol of diversity and conservation. Rabbitwoman and Dogman represent the coming together of opposites as best friends and soul mates, while the rhino highlights the urgent need for compassion and action to save endangered species.

“The unveiling of this sculpture marks a huge milestone for us, as it’s a smaller version of our most popular exhibit, previously showcased in London and NYC,” Gillie said. “We’re excited to bring this beloved piece to Toronto and share its message of love and unity with the community.”

Standing at 4.81 x 1.3 x 2.22 meters and weighing 1422 kilograms, the sculpture adds to the artists’ impressive global portfolio, with works displayed in over 250 cities.

“Public art plays a crucial role in shaping the identity and vibrancy of a downtown area,” said Janice Solomon, Executive Director of Toronto Downtown West BIA. “Gillie and Marc’s sculpture helps to beautify the area, foster community engagement, and enhance the economic vitality of the city. We are proud to have ‘He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place’ join the other 70+ pieces of public art in our BIA.”

Cyclists, art lovers, and visitors from around the world are invited to take the spare seat on this extraordinary sculpture for a unique photo opportunity and to engage with art that entertains and inspires meaningful conversations about our connection with wildlife. Share your experience using the hashtag #LoveTheLast and join the global campaign for conservation.

The exhibition will be on display at David Pecaut Square at 215 King Street West until May 2025.

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