World's Largest Duck Swimming for SoCal

Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project makes a Tall Ships Fest cameo.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Many things can be (and have been) said about the great city of Los Angeles, but a completely factual assertion is this: We're wild for large objects appearing in unlikely situations.

    "Levitated Mass," the giant "hovering" boulder at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art? Qualifies. How about when the Space Shuttle Endeavour squeezed through narrow streets on its roll to the California Science Center? Yes. And, heck, can we give it up for the ginormous pastry atop Randy's Donuts? Applause, applause.

    Next up on SoCal's gargantuan-things-in-odd-spots calendar? A bright yellow ducky, the kind that might appear in a bathtub, but multiplied in general size by, like, 40,000, give or take. Artist Florentijn Hofman's Rubber Duck Project, which has unleashed whimsy and countless whirring cameras in China, Australia, and, indeed, Pittsburgh, is set for its first West Coast appearance at San Pedro's Tall Ships Festival.

    The mondo masts'll sail into the Port of Los Angeles from Wednesday, Aug. 20 through Sunday, Aug. 24.

    Along with what is undoubtedly going to be the star of the shiply spectacular, the mammoth rubber duck. Mr. Hofman created the out-sized toy-like fowl, an inflatable sculpture with "healing properties," to "relieve the world's tensions as well as define them," says the artist. "The Rubber Duck knows no frontiers, it doesn't discriminate people, and it doesn't have a political connotation."

    The sunshine-hued, ship-big plaything has appeared against some interesting settings, skyscrapers among them, but the famous tall ships should provide a backdrop, and a complement, that'll draw photographers throughout the region.

    The mega artwork's measurements, by the by, are listed as 10 x 11 x 13 meters. It involves a pontoon, too, as you might imagine.

    Will you go to behold the lucky duck? We're only the second North American city to be visited, but the duck chose wisely. After all, we're pretty good with large things presented in offbeat ways.

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