Charly (1989) Robbert Jan F. Donker

BKOR archive
About the artwork

Charly (Nicolaas Morelis, 1911 - 1973) was a well-known Rotterdam street figure and imitator. His nickname was Charly the Sandwichman. In the years' 60, '70 and' 80, he walked through the center as a live advertising doll and in the meantime imitated Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin. He advertised the local tradespeople and wore signs on his chest and back, for which he himself designed the text. He was a resident of the Oude Noorden and lived on the Snellemanstraat. Artist Robbert Jan F. Donker became fascinated by Charly as a child. When he was asked to design a work of art for the square on Snellemanstraat, he designed a statue for Charly. The memorial monument consists of a travertine column with a bronze bowler hat, walking stick, shoes and a draped pawn jacket. A bronze plate is attached to the column with the text: "Charly an illustrious Oude Noordeling". Donker chose to portray the attributes and not to portray the person Charly. Morelis' daughter has unveiled the statue.

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About the artist

Robbert Jan Donker (Amsterdam, 1943 - Rotterdam, 2016) studied from 1960 to 1965 at the Academy of Visual Arts in Rotterdam. These years made him a 'race Rotterdammer' with a great preference for the Kralingen neighborhood. Sculptor Donker's work is characterized by the creation of human figures, reliefs and especially animal figures in bronze and stone.

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