Now a yearly event, the short, piazza-like street near the Ponte Vecchio has inaugurated its latest contemporary art installation.
Designed by artist Simone D’Auria for hotel chain Lungarno Collection, WOW. Windmills of Energy is stopping passers-by in their tracks. A bold red three-dimensional WOW stands in front of photography mecca Leica Store Firenze, enticing people to pose for selfies. A giant white pinwheel rises up from a pot in front of the outside seating area at Fusion Bar and Restaurant. Eleven windmills attached to the façade of Gallery Art Hotel turn as the wind breezes along the street near the Arno River.
“This event has garnered importance not just for us and the tourists who arrive in the Tuscan capital, but for Florentines too who, year after year, look forward to finding out what’s happening in the piazza, ready to use it as a backdrop for photos and selfies … We are particularly grateful to the Comune for giving us its patronage,” commented Valeriano Antonioli, CEO of the Lungarno Group.
The exhibition continues inside the hotel with a retrospective of D’Auria’s artworks for the Florentine hospitality firm, now in its fourth year of collaboration. Previous editions focused on the World Cycling Championships in Florence, historic Florentine figures down the centuries and huge spoons for Expo Milano 2015. (The artwork titled Bruno Spoon, named for designer Bruno Munari, has now been installed at the UN Headquarters in New York in a blue version.)
Fun and ironic, the artwork exhorts Italy to reconsider its commitment to renewable energies.
The #WowFirenze installation will continue until December 31, 2016.