" EL PENSADOR" (THE THINKER)

A SCULPTURE BY NADÍN OSPINA

"El Pensador" is a work that combines humor and reflection in an apparently traditional sculptural object. A representation of contemporary pop iconography winks at art history to produce a singular piece that activates playful thinking.

Memory

Contemporary societies, inevitably immersed in globalization, share collective imaginaries that are manifested through the mass media in the universal symbols of the so-called pop culture.

The comic strip, an archetypal pop product, is a phenomenon that awakens a universal passion and is placed in the category of cult object.

Superman , the first comic book superhero¹, the most iconic and enduring representative of the genre, is unquestionably the paradigm of this fantastic universe.

Unquestionably the paradigm of this fantastic universe and his unique personality, a mixture of futurism and nostalgic anachronism, has given rise to countless sociological, political and psychological interpretations.  

Superman is the incarnation of a fundamental ideal of humanity, the prototype of the champion of truth and justice, a romantic reflection of the medieval chivalric epic.

Superman is a complex character; orphan, adopted, displaced, alien, forced immigrant, owner of a split personality and tormented by all kinds of malicious rumors about his sex life.

Superman is seen by many as a symbol of capitalism and American imperialist arrogance and paradoxically as the cathartic element of the fears and weaknesses of this same society incapable of resolving its real conflicts.

From our peripheral societies Superman appears doubly strange, doubly foreign, superlatively fanciful. His glamorous city Metropolis and his hyper-technological native Krypton are so alien to us that the very idea of a probable encounter with our environment is intensely surreal and poetic.

Based on the iconic figure of this character and merging it with the also famous image of Rodin, the piece "The Thinker" is created, a sculpture in polychrome bronze with diverse connotations.

It is a public piece that inserts an unexpected and reflective playful element in a given environment with its own sociological characteristics: is Superman in this place by mistake, is he lost, has he gone mad, has he been deported, is he tired of living in the first world, has he come here to fulfill some super mission? His reflective and meditative attitude is due to: that he is bewildered by the Colombian reality that has overtaken him, that he has lost his superpowers, or that he has managed to put an end to all the problems of the city and is now unemployed? 

The piece El Pensador draws attention in an ironic and playful way to various aspects of the socio-political reality and leaves open a question about the value of fantasy and imagination in the face of the overwhelming and sometimes unbearable reality as a suggestion of the creative exercise and the use of art and humor as liberating elements.

The work is a 2.10 meter high bronze sculpture located in the exterior public space of the Bancolombia building in the city of Medellin, generating a dialogue, part humor, part reflection with the unsuspecting spectator. The piece will generate a point of reference in the place chosen for its location, encouraging the encounter and enriching playfulness. 

¹ Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created the character for the magazine Action Comics N°1 published in 1938.