Budapest artist Gabor M Szoke new work at Falcon Stadium in Atlanta
Atlanta, Georgia welcomes Gabor M Szoke’s falcon sculpture to Falcons Stadium
artGuide Magazine is thrilled to showcase internationally renowned artist Gabor M Szoke. His recent public sculpture installment in Atlanta, Georgia brings his unique vision and artistic style to the Greater Atlanta area art scene.
Gabor M Szoke is an internationally lauded sculptor and contemporary artist best known for his monumental, industrially wrought animal sculptures. Szoke's aesthetic, expressed through the use of stainless steel and hardwood, enlivens his unique public art and informs architectural environments around the globe. Due to the magnitude of his installations, Szoke holds the record for the biggest equine statue in Europe and the largest avian sculpture in the world.
Based in Budapest, Hungary, Szoke first garnered global acclaim after completing a scholarship program at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera in Milan, Italy, and graduating from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts in 2010. He was named in Forbes' list of "30 successful Hungarians under 30" and has created more than 100 sculptures in Croatia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Switzerland, the United States, and other countries. In addition to sculpting, Szoke also paints and designs award-winning furniture and interiors that are defined by his imaginary milieu, the Dante Empire, named after his late Doberman. These works have been shown in individual and group exhibitions and are displayed in private collections and contemporary galleries worldwide.
Szoke has completed two commissions in the United States. He gained recognition for his first sculpture, the Flying Puli, which was installed in Smithsonian Park in Washington DC in 2013. His most momentous present-day work, Atlanta Falcon, designed for the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, surpasses his earlier record with a wingspan of 67 feet. The realization of this sculpture took 2 years to complete with the help of his team of 200 people. It was transported from his studio in Budapest in four 40-foot containers to Atlanta, where they worked on its installation for half a year. Its monumental proportions are characteristic of Szoke's signature style. The sculpture has become an important landmark in Atlanta, where crowds gather under its wings to have their pictures taken. The sculpture is a defining feature of the city's identity and has become an integral part of locals' lives serving as a meeting point for old and young. In addition, the sculpture embodies the Atlanta Falcons' slogan "Rise Up!", which symbolizes the team’s struggle to become the very best in the NFL, as well as that of local churchgoers and Civil Rights activists.
Szoke has been fascinated by nature and animals from a very young age. One of his earliest memories is from a relative's farm, when, at the age of 5, he found himself face to face with some horses locked in a stable. At the time, the animals seemed scary and superhuman. According to the artist, this experience paved the way for the themes and monumental scale of his later public works. Inspired by the power and dynamism of wildlife, monsters, and demons, the artist's characteristic slat style has become his individual mode of expression. He breaks down anatomical forms from the animal world into elementary units and then reinterprets these with the industrial re-construction of these elements. He brings complex and inextricable structures to life.