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Sculpture Artist of SF’s “Cupid’s Span” Dies at 93

Swedish-American pop-artist Claes Oldenburg designed the 64-foot tall “Cupid’s Span” which landed on SF’s waterfront in 2002.
By - posted 7/23/2022 No Comment

Thanks to SFist for letting us know that Claes Oldenberg, the Swedish-born, American pop-culture sculpture artist who designed the gorgeous “Cupid’s Span” sculpture along San Francisco’s Embarcadero passed away last week at the age of 93.

Cupid’s Span is a 64-foot tall* outdoor sculpture by married artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, installed along the Embarcadero, just south of the Ferry Building.

Learn about Cupid’s Span’s design history and see photos of its installation from 2002

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen’s Cupid’s Span, made of fiberglass and steel, was installed in the newly built Rincon Park along the Embarcadero in San Francisco in 2002. The piece resembles Cupid’s bow and arrow, drawn, with the arrow and bow partially implanted in the ground; the artists stated that the piece was inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the home port of Eros, hence the stereotypical bow and arrow of Cupid.

Leydier and Penwarden wrote, “Love’s trade-mark weapon naturally evokes the city’s permissive and romantic reputation, while formally its taut curve resonates wonderfully with the structure of the famous suspension bridge (the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge) in the background.

Read more at SFist.

*There are various reports that the sculpture is 60 feet tall (SFist), 70 feet tall (Wikipedia) but the official website of Oldenburg and Bruggen says the sculpture is 64′ tall.