Het Ding

het ding naum gabo the thing rotterdam street art

Flower power

Impressive about the Untitled creation by Naum Gabo is that it weighs 40.000 kilograms while 26 meters high. It is also known as the Het Ding (The Thing) or the De Gestileerde Bloem (The Styled Flower) in Rotterdam.

The sculpture is an ideological contribution towards constructivism while architectural and sculptural approaches merge. With inspiration from organic structures of plants for the scultpure’s structure. Above the foundations as the roots there are two concrete blocks that form the stem. These blocks are covered with black marble. From the stem eight upward metal branches grow towards each other. The darker refined inside represent the foliage. Hence the name the De Gestileerde Bloem (The Styled Flower).

As of 1957 the Het Ding creation by Naum Gabo is at the busy Coolsingel in Rotterdam. Whether untitled, a flower or just a thing. This massive sculpture in Rotterdam certainly is present. Here is the location!

het ding naum gabo the thing rotterdam street art


elevazione giuseppe penone rotterdam street art elevated tree

Lift me up

The artwork Elevazione in Rotterdam is by Giuseppe Penone. Hence the title Elevazione which is Italian for elevation. The elevated tree is based on the Arte Povera style. This is a contemporary art movement and means Poor Art.

This fallen tree is covered with bronze by the artist Giuseppe Penone. Altogether four alder-trees and one beech-tree carry the bronze elevated tree. Furthermore the alder-trees came with the artwork in the year 2001.The bronze tree’s roots leave their tracks in the growing tree trunks. Therefore marking the expired time and exactly Giuseppe’s goal.

It is nearby the Zonder Titel sculpture by Richard Artschwager. As a totally different piece of art Elevazione in Rotterdam is the product of a fallen tree from Italy. Once in the forests around Turin and now an artwork in Rotterdam. Here is the location!

elevazione giuseppe penone rotterdam street art elevated tree


qwertz franz west rotterdam street art


As part of the street’s interior the QWERTZ creation by Franz West is in Rotterdam since 2001. QWERTZ are the first 6 letter keys on German keyboards.

Once the orange, pink, white, yellow and blue artwork matched the colors of the building on the background. That explains the location as Franz West wanted. The colorful objects allow interaction as benches or backrests whilst on the grass. Yet the artwork’s shape and name call for people’s own interpretations. For many the five colorful objects are like cigars or worms. Some even call them the Sitzwursten which is German for the sitting sausages.

As part of Rotterdam creations like QWERTZ and the closeby Sylvette by Pablo Picasso make the street art scene in Rotterdam. Therefore these five colorful objects fit in just perfect. Here is the location!

qwertz franz west rotterdam street art

Santa Claus

santa claus paul mccarthy kabouter buttplug statue eendrachtsplein street art rotterdam

Ho ho ho

As of 2001 the Santa Claus sculpture by Paul McCarthy belongs to Rotterdam. Of course good old Father Christmas comes with a tree and bell. Although many doubt that it’s an actual Christmas tree and call it something else. Therefore in Rotterdam many call this Santa mostly Kabouter Buttplug (Buttplug Gnome).

For Paul McCarthy it is Santa Clause by the Coca Cola Company who ruined the great Christmas feeling. Therefore making Christmas a shopping holiday instead about nice traditions. Meanwhile the Santa Claus sculpture is in a shopping street in Rotterdam since the year 2008. This attracts visitors into the many shops in the area. Exactly the opposite of what the artist actually wants. It is at walking distance of both the Nieuwe Binnenweg street and the Fikkie sculpture by Joeki Simák.

All by all the Santa Claus sculpture is without doubt part of the many street art in Rotterdam. Although most know it as Kabouter Buttplug (Buttplug Gnome). Here is the location!

santa claus paul mccarthy kabouter buttplug statue eendrachtsplein street art rotterdam


sylvette david pablo picasso carl nesjar street art rotterdam

Concrete and stones

After Pablo Picasso met Sylvette David in 1954 he made many artworks of her. In total he made over 60 portrais, drawings, paintings and small sculptures of her. Since 1971 a replica by Carl Nesjar of Sylvette stands in Rotterdam.

Inside the sculpture is a metal frame that is covered with concrete mixed with black stones. The artist Carl Nesjar sand-blasted the image into the concrete exposing the black stones. With the purchase of Sylvette already in 1971 shows the modern and progressive character of Rotterdam. Especially as one of Pablo Picasso’s works in the streets.

Behind the concrete sculpture is the Breathe Walk Die sign on top of the Boijnmans van Beuningen museum. Another artwork is the De Hals sculpture on the other side of the street. Meanwhile Sylvette in Rotterdam still watches over the street and its many visitors. Here is the location!

sylvette david pablo picasso carl nesjar street art rotterdam

Melly Shum

melly shum ken lum witte de withstraat rotterdam


From 1990 hangs a billboard in Rotterdam saying that Melly Shum Hates Her Job. This attention-drawing billboard is a non-commercial one by the artist Ken Lum. It is supposed to raise many questions that perhaps clearify the text and picture. All by the Melly Shum Hates Her Job sign in Rotterdam.

A closer look at the work shows not a product, costs or a phone number. Despite the large red and blue words next to the woman’s image. On his own way Ken Lum wants to raise people’s awareness about how numb they are for such advertisements. As a result people automatically connect words to images which attracts to the actual billboard.

Find out more while in the popular Witte de Withstraat passing the Contemporary Art Center on your way towards the second Make It Happen artwork and ask more questions. Who is Melly Shum and does she really hate her job? Why does she hate her job? Where does she work? Above all why does she smile if she hates her job? Here is the location!

melly shum ken lum witte de withstraat rotterdam


anita david bade street art rotterdam

Under construction

The Anita sculpture by David Bade is in Rotterdam since 2001. While for many she is a confusing piece of street art the artist’s explanation is clear.

The artwork starts from the pallet with on top a debris bag. Than comes Anita out of that bag. Similar to debris bags in use on construction sites for all kinds of waste materials. Therefore the artwork is made from different found materials and objects but also from clay and polyurethane. Anita stands for Rotterdam which is constantly under construction. After put on the sidewalk waste collection trucks pick up the bags with debris. This explains the location next to the busy road.

Near David Bade’s street art creation is the QWERTZ sculpture by Franz West. Another reason for this particular place in Rotterdam is the popular skatepark nearby so that street cultures meet Anita. Here is the location!

anita david bade street art rotterdam

De Hals

de hals john blake the neck rotterdam street art

Don’t neglect me

The De Hals sculpture (2000) in Rotterdam is by John Blake. The white polyester artwork stands on a concrete platform and is 2.30 meters high. It is an enlargement of a display that jewelers use in shop windows. Which explains the title as the neck. Actually the platform is part of a sewer bunker.

The De Hals scultpure faces towards the famous Witte de Withstraat in Rotterdam where Melly Shum is. Also nearby is the Elevazione artwork by Giuseppe Penone. The neck artwork by John Blake is part of the famous Rotterdam Westersingel Sculpture Route. Here is the location!

de hals john blake the neck rotterdam street art


guard hans van bentem gundam street art rotterdam

Guard it

It’s not a Transformer, also not a Terminator but a bit of both. It’s Guard in Rotterdam by the artist Hans van Bentem. Already since the year 2005 looking over the skatepark’s visitors. It’s based on the popular Gundam anime series.

With a length of 3.5 meters the ceramic Guards on a granite base is in Rotterdam since 2005. Another artwork in the area is colorful Anita by David Bade. The skaters from the skatepark next door supported the idea of such an artwork nearby. Resulting in the solid creation by Hans van Bentem. Here is the location!

guard hans van bentem gundam street art rotterdam


aub au mijn benen henk visch street art rotterdam

Should I stay or should I go?

The AUB sculpture by Henk Visch in Rotterdam is neighbors with the Kunsthal. Actually it is bought and placed illegally there in 1996 by the former Kunsthal director. Due to local laws not allowing any artworks in the Museumpark. However still in the beautiful park.

The title AUB stands for “Au mijn benen” meaning “Ouch my legs”. The two bronze legs by the artist Henk Visch are almost sitting or standing. Likewise the position of an ice skater. The legs with a height of 3.10 meters weigh 800 kilograms.

Beside AUB sculpture Henk Visch has an other artwork known as the Marathon statue in Rotterdam. Also visit the various exhibitions of the Kunsthal after posing with to the bronze legs. Here is the location

aub au mijn benen henk visch street art rotterdam