This monumental cranium, titled Eros Bendato Screpolato (Bandaged, Cracked Eros) by Polish sculptor Igor Mitoraj has rolled onto the front lawn of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (now referred to as “The MEE-yah”). Our plan to sketch a naked human in the drawing studio fell through, so we spent an afternoon on the wet museum grass, sketching Eros’ bandaged cranium in bronze instead.
Igor Mitoraj’s obit at The Guardian describes an artist “for whom fragmented bodies expressed the depths of human suffering.” Mitoraj’s work is striking and provocative – in spending 2.5 hours sketching the celestial head, no less than 100 people of all ages shambled up the sloped lawn to contemplate the piece at close range. Curious kids tried to climb inside like human prions, pick its cracked nose, or poke their heads through its empty orbits. At a minimum, Eros Bendato Screpolato is a powerful demonstration of the immediate gravity of monumental work, grabbing the attention of strangers as if a comet dropped from the sky (indeed, it resembles a burned up meteor from behind!). Mitoraj’s subject then draws out the imagination with simple allegory soldered with a profound dolor.