Forest fox (2020) Florentijn Hofman

Frank Hanswijk, courtesy of Studio Florentijn Hofman
About the artwork

A huge fox has been placed on the Schiedamseweg in the Bospolder-Tussendijken district in May 2020. The picture the Forest fox is sixteen meters long and ten meters high. The whole weighs 65 tons. Now the artwork is still white, but soon this giant fox will get a nice orange tint and a plastic bag in its mouth. The design was made by Florentijn Hofman, who uses this artwork to depict a relationship between the city and nature. With his fox he wanted to make an image about how nature works its way through the city in urban peripheral areas under the metro lane. Nature contributes to the well-being of urban people. Hofman came up with this design in two ways. The first is the immortal name of this urban district, Bospolder-Tussendijken - a composition of forest, polder and dikes. It recalls an invisible past. The second way was to study the Schiedamseweg in more detail. The street still has many points of attention, but entrepreneurs and residents saw something in an artwork as a tractor and hoped for an eye-catcher. The City of Rotterdam approached BKOR and SIR for this. Hofman and three other artists were asked to make a design for this busy street in competition. Hofman found many parts too busy, too narrow or too finished, which meant that the Delfshaven side in particular fell off. But the other end, towards Marconiplein, could use a gesture. In that part nature enters the city, there is also the market of the Grote Visserijstraat with all the plastic bags that blow around. The fox's intrusion into the city, as well as the ban on plastic bags, were messages that played a role at the time when Hofman started his design. The Forest fox is an ode to both: nature and the plastic bag. Did that fox take the bag? Is he going to clean up junk? Or did he run errands? Because of that unexplained addition, it tells an ambiguous story, just as it is an absurd appearance here along the street. Read here the entire essay on the Forest polder fox.

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About the artist

Florentijn Hofman (Delfzijl, 1977) studied at the Kampen art academy. The artist is known for his striking large artworks, in which humor, sensation and maximum impact play a role. Florentijn Hofman became known worldwide for his Rubber duck, a greatly enlarged inflatable yellow bath duck that has been floating in various waters in Europe, Asia and Australia. Another well-known work is it Festive pig in Arnhem.

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