“Cupid’s Span” is a ginormous piece (60 ft. high to be exact) of outdoor art created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. It is a sculpture of a bow and arrow made out of painted fiberglass and stainless-steel that was installed in 2002 as a gift to the city from Donald and Doris Fisher (founders of the Gap). Part of the bow and the tip of the arrow appear to be buried in a hill on Rincon Park, a pedestrian park along San Francisco’s Embarcadero, while the tail feathers rise up at an angle. The way it is placed is part of what makes the piece so fascinating and interesting to look at.
The artists say that they were “inspired by San Francisco’s reputation as the home port of Eros” for this piece. Of course the sculpture looks like a massive version of what it is, a bow and arrow, but depending on what angle you look at it, it also resembles a boat or the Bay Bridge behind it.
I love the piece. Every time I see it, it makes me smile because it seems joyful and whimsical. The artists “evoked the mythological account of Eros shooting his arrow into the earth to make it fertile.” I see that, but for me personally the whole thing reminds me of how much I love San Francisco. San Francisco is the first city that I ever fell in love with and no matter where life takes me, just like Tony Bennett’s signature song, I will always feel like “I left my heart in San Francisco.” Cheesy, but true.
San Francisco, CA
I showed you mine, now show me yours.
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