Walking along Broad Street in Oxford with a group of TE friends last weekend, I spotted this naked man standing high up on a building. I was worried that he might be attracted to the pretty redheaded girl with nice legs walking below and might perhaps fall or jump.
But I need not have worried at all as he has nerves of steel - well, iron actually, because this naked man is another artwork of the famous Anthony Gormley, being cast in iron, weighing half a ton and being a replica of the artist himself, just like the group of figures he has "planted" on the beach at Crosby in Merseyside - you can see one of them here.
If you look at this page, you will see details of how this statue was hauled up to this elevated position on Sunday, 15th February, 2009, and you can see a wider view of this same picture in my workshop picture.
Critiques | Translate
emka (105408) 2012-08-29 22:39
Hi John, Well observed and so amusing with your note. In thumbnail it seemed it was a real man and he could jump to the girl, she is very attractive. Excellent shot. I see also that there was another TE-meeting. You are so active, you Englishmen (and half Scots :)). maybe I will look for my photos from Oxford and it will be as if i was there too. I would like so much.
bayno (18344) 2012-08-30 4:18
This artist likes to provoke and in this way it can be said that the statue does not go unnoticed, I like the strong contrast between the statue and the cross behind him, life and suicide, excellent POV and light...
my best regards,
ACL1978 (7511) 2012-08-30 5:36
John, a striking shot with a funny title and note. I love how you've presented this, with three distinct human forms, but the statue is highlighted against the sky in an almost heroic pose - I'm reminded of Superman in a way. Beautiful light on the building and statue add a dramatic sense to the scene. Lovely concept, and well carried out.
macondo (19804) 2012-08-30 5:38
I did think it was possibly you, up there about to take another vertiginous shot of the Oxford panorama. Great note, and excellent timing of course, with the red-head striding past. The light on the wall adds a warmth, contrasting nicely with the shadows, and your narrow crop is very effective in accentuating the height. And the artwork itself? I like it.
macjake (71721) 2012-08-30 5:43
there are several things i like about this photo, but perhaps you'll be surprised what i like most.....can you guess?
Its the fact you included the white lines on the road into the photo. It would have been so easy to crop the scene just below the sidewalk and below the woman's legs, but you didn't - smart choice!
the scene is so interesting i like it even without the very top quarter. lovely colors, lighting and people walking by.
well done my friend
saxo042 (37966) 2012-08-30 7:58
A very interesting work of art! There is a good connection bewteen the man of the roof and the people on the street, even if they are quite unaware of this fact. A fine picture with the sepatation between the sunlit wall and the shadowed wall. I guess you used som perspective correction to get the vertical lines parallel. Obviously this statue was not here when Google was around to get their street views.
holmertz (58186) 2012-08-30 8:16
This is a wonderful statue and a superb place to keep it. Why should every statue be placed at street level? I am just worried it might jump, or fall, on the pram. The vulnerable humans walking beneath half a ton of iron give some suspense to the picture and of course balance the composition nicely.
lousat (96642) 2012-08-30 9:05
Hi John,a funny title for a very original scene,great capture whit a perfect crop a great details,i like the color of the facade too,it's nice to see something to different on TE! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano
annjackman (21903) 2012-08-31 9:34
I have some catching upto do with TE so I will start with this one because I really love it. This is a really well 'organised' image. The artwork is magnificently perched, reaching into the sky next to the cross with clean roof lines. Then below is real life with people hurrying along the street. Sandwiched in between is the lovely, honey-coloured stone so typical of the buildings of Oxford. Your saw a wonderful opportunity and got a great image - I didn't even take this one. Stunning quality!
Kind Regards, Ann
MJR (3360) 2012-09-03 14:50
Rather as the redhead in your shot ( I suspect the REAL subject of your interest... ) I walked right past this view. Im my defence, as the girl did, I walked under it and could not have appreciated it..
But I am glad you stepped back a bit and ( oh joy ! ) looked up: this is a strong image, and clearly one its originators had in mind.
I recognised the statue, once seen never forgotten, but did not know that Exeter had sponsered one for themselves. Bravo I say.
Tricky light, what with the half shadows, and your principal subject black against the bright sky, but you have brought it all together well. The composition as we are used to, is brilliant, and the timing impeccable. Without the two, er three, humans, this would not have the same impact.
Good work !
CLODO (35582) 2012-09-18 4:30
this is the kind of picture I can't resist: an every day situation people don't notice. It seems he is going to jump whereas the walkers are well unaware of his existence onthe roof.
Makes me smile.
Royaldevon (42421) 2015-03-26 2:42
Thank you for your appropriate link!
No, I didn't know about this one!
I must have missed your posting whilst away on holiday.
Your title fits the photograph perfectly! Although, there has been much debate about people encouraging people to jump, in such situations!!
A very well composed shot, with fine light contrasts.
I just love the inference - daily life continues, whilst people are totally unaware of the trauma of others!
Have a great day,
mjw364 (1466) 2015-12-04 11:02
Yes it seems Gormley is like the chap symbolised by the cross on the building behind. The bugger gets everywhere!
Or if you are a secularist from the Enlightenment period whose philosophies superceded God with man at the centre of the universe then Gormley symbolises that rather well.Interestingly he is placed on top of an art supply shop. He could just as easily be a sign for Blackwell's!
There was a great programme on TV about Gormley's latest installation in Florence recently. I think it's available on BBC iplayer. It's well worth a watch and it made me want to catch a flight to Florence with my camera.
Nice crop to emphasise the height and including the people provides scale. The light building and dark section around the corner conveniently creates a line of thirds down the left on which the woman is perfectly positioned. Well composed image as always John.
- Copyright: John Cannon (tyro) (26142)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-08-26
- Categories: Architecture, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L USM, Hoya 77mm Pro1D UV(0)
- Exposure: f/11, 1/800 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Map: view
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2012-08-29 17:29