PALETTA GRANDE – sculpture prank

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Filed under: Art Pranks

This post was submitted by reader Mary Johnson:

Big humor engages high culture on a grand scale in the art of sculpture pranking. A very big horse makes for very big poop and very big poop calls for a very big scoop. There is such a scoop, called Paletta Grande, at internationally renowned Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Paletta Grande - sculpture prank

Paletta Grande is currently in use by artist Nina Akamu’s, The American Horse, created in homage to Leonardo da Vinci’s original commission by the Duke of Milan, which, at twenty-four feet high, is the second largest equestrian statue in the world.

Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park presents the never-before-exhibited Paletta Grande (“Big Scoop”, “Large Shovel”) by Francesco Nicola Sansovino, the largest public scoop exhibit in Grand Rapids history.

Paletta Grande, front view

“Meijer Gardens is delighted to bring art into our community by presenting Francesco Nicola Sansovino in Grand Rapids, an exhibition that complements the history and significance of Leonardo Da Vinci’s great horse ‘Gran Cavallo’ and expresses nature’s call as we all can relate,” said Joseph Becherer, curator and director of the Sculpture Program at Meijer Gardens. “We are pleased to work with Fondamento per la Scultura Naturale (Foundation for Natural Sculpture) to bring about this important piece of whimsical imagery. A very big horse makes for very big poop and very big poop calls for a very big scoop. Sansovino’s grand vision is now fulfilled, to see us smile at ourselves and find playful delight in the creativity of art in all its frolicsome forms, even mischievousness.”

palettagrandeside425.jpgDisplayed at ground level which allows for easy visitor interaction, the 12 x 12 foot scoop with 22 foot handle is an awesome triumph, inspiring gasps and grins by adults and children alike. The exhibit also features PALETTA MINIATURA, a 1/8th scale replica interactive display.

For more information, visit the exhibit web sites: