CowParade

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Bronze casting commemorating Chicago's exhibition

CowParade is an international public art exhibit that has been featured in major world cities. Fiberglass sculptures of cows are decorated by local artists, and distributed over the city centre, in public places such as train stations, important avenues, and parks. They often feature artwork and designs specific to local culture, as well as city life and other relevant themes.

After the exhibition in the city, which may last many months, the statues are auctioned off and the proceeds donated to charity.

There are a few variations of shape, but the three most common shapes of cow were created by Pascal Knapp, a Swiss-born sculptor who was commissioned to create the cows specifically for the CowParade series of events. Pascal Knapp owns the copyrights to the standing, lying, and grazing cow shapes used in the CowParade events.

History[edit]

The concept of "cow parade" has its origins in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1998[1] by artistic director Walter Knapp, it is based on an idea which was realised in the same city for the first time in 1986: Lions as the symbol of Zurich were painted and then on display throughout the city.

The Zürich exhibit 1998 was not called "cow parade" - it was called "Land in Sicht" (roughly translated as "Countryside in view"). The concept was brought to the United States when Chicago businessman Peter Hanig, along with Commissioner of Cultural Affairs Lois Weisberg, organized an event in Chicago in 1999. A Swiss company, CowHolding Parade AG, started to explore the idea. The American company that explored this idea, CowHolding Parade, was founded in 1999; the Swiss company promptly sued but the case fizzled out without results. A bronze casting of one of the cows is on permanent display in Chicago in commemoration of the city's initial exhibition.

The success of this venture inspired many other cities to host similar fundraising projects. The idea has been taken up by other cities which have chosen animals for public art projects with painted fiberglass sculptures (see Similar projects).

Cows[edit]

CowParade cities[edit]

Africa

Asia

Europe

North and Central America

Oceania

South America

Similar projects[edit]

Globe in TelAviv, "A Gateway to the World", 2007


The phenomenon of CowParade has spawned copy-cat statue decorating projects in a number of cities worldwide.[5] The success of these ventures inspired many other cities and organisations to host similar fundraising projects. The theme was adapted in Berlin to the town mascot; however the entailing United Buddy Bears exhibitions are very different from all other urban events. The bears were created by the German artists Klaus and Eva Herlitz. The idea and the philosophy behind the United Buddy Bears exhibitions are unique: with its international approach and its symbolism, this synthesis of the arts globally promotes tolerance, international understanding and a peaceful coexistence. Another known copy is elephant parade, using a similar logo and postures of the statues.

Zürich itself has adapted the bear theme in the "Teddy-Summer" in 2005.[6]

Asia[edit]

Europe[edit]

Two of the 104 decorated pigs on display in the English city of Bath. This was a public art event, called "King Bladud's Pigs in Bath". Pig sculptures were on display around the city through the summer of 2008.
Two Buddy Bears at Kurfürstendamm 21, Berlin
Location Name Exhibits Date
Bath King Bladud's Pigs 104 pigs 2008[7]
Bath Lions of Bath 100 lions 2010[8]
Berlin Buddy Bear Berlin Show 350 Buddy Bears 2001 and 2002
Berlin + since 2004 worldwide United Buddy Bears Worldtour 150 United Buddy Bears 2002 and 2003, since 2004 worldwide
Bristol Wow! Gorillas 61 gorillas 2011[9]
Bristol Gromit Unleashed 80 Gromits 2013, http://www.gromit-unleashed.org.uk/ [10][11]
Chester Rhino Mania 62 rhinos 2010
Colchester Stand tall 112 giraffes 2013
Copenhagen Elephant Parade 102 baby elephants 2011 June [12]
Dortmund Dortmunder Nashorn 120 rhinos 2005, expanded for 2006 FIFA World Cup
Hamburg Hans Hummel 100 Hans Hummel 2003
Hannover Elefanten-Parade 45 elephants 2004
Hasselt Elephant Parade 2012
Heerlen Elephant Parade 2011
Istanbul Shoe Art 500 shoes 2008 September
Hull Larkin with Toads 40 toads 2010
Kaiserslautern Fishing for Phantasy 250 fish 2001
Leipzig LeOLips 100 lions 2002[13]
Liverpool Go Superlambananas! 125 Superlambananas 2008;
Liverpool Go Penguins 142 penguins 2009[14]
London Elephant Parade 2010
London The Big Egg Hunt 2012
London 83 Wenlock and Mandeville mascots 2012[15][16]
Munich Löwenparade 500 lions 2004
Neustadt an der Aisch Aischgruender Karpfen 120 carp 2008 September [17]
Newport South Wales, UK SuperDragons 60 dragons 2010[18]
Northampton Pride of Northampton 2010[19]
Norwich Go Elephants 54 baby elephants 2008[20]
Versmold Bunte Borstenviecher 120 pigs 2007[21]
Wells Swans of Wells 60 swans 2012, to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II[22]
Wuppertal Pinguinale 200 penguins 2006
Zürich Teddy-Summer 630 teddy-bears 2005

North America[edit]

Criticism[edit]

CowParade has been criticized by contributing artists for their selectivity standards; David Lynch's cow with its flesh partially ripped off, and organs showing was rejected. The explanation is that this particular CowParade cow was rejected by the City of New York, not the CowParade organisation. [74]

A Swedish Organization called The Militant Graffiti Artists of Stockholm has kidnapped and decapitated one of the cows of the Stockholm event in protest of the publicly provisioned cows carrying advertisements.[75]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ * Toulouse, "Cow Parade, Toulouse 2012", 2012 (52 cows) [2]
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External links[edit]