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Building a new landmark overlooking Washington DC — Washington DC, USA

Scarlet — Natural Chaos

Contemporary artist Arne Quinze has created a unique, permanent sculpture in Washington D.C. Natural Chaos Scarlet is a site-specific 12,5 meter high (41.1 foot) metal art piece, installed along the shores of the Potomac River. Quinze comes to Washington with this project to deliver a clear intent: to activate a discursive exchange and critical engagement with the landscape and to encourage the restoration of balance between culture and nature. The sculpture base is an elegant twisted column that splits up into three branches. This heavy masterwork, weighing 28 tons, was handcrafted in its entirety by the artist and his skilled team and attests to the high level of his metallurgic skill. Atop the sculpture is an assemblage of unique, sculpted organic forms. For the creation of this nest-like composition, the artist took his inspiration from nature.

As an artist, Quinze considers it his duty to use his art as a call for improved balance between culture and nature. To that end, he avidly collects all sorts of specimens and information about flora and fauna while on his travels worldwide, organic references that eventually find their way into his artworks. It’s in this private workshop, an eclectic space that feels like an admixture of Darwinian natural history and 19th Century science fiction à la Jules Verne, that he fuels his eager curiosity and cultivates the unique visual language of his complex abstract sculptures.

Arne Quinze believes that nature holds the solution for a better society and that our urban centers and city life can hugely improve when more closely attuned to its rhythm and diversity. According to Quinze, listening to nature’s feedback is the key to a healthy and stable society. He views education as a cornerstone of this debate and suggests that we should pay more attention to our public living spaces while encouraging collaborative cultural interventions. With his concept of "cities as open-air-museums," he strives to confront people with art in everyday contexts.

Scarlet is an ode to nature, as well to femininity: its beauty, diversity, gratitude, and power. Scarlet is the artist’s indictment of human carelessness. Our contemporary societies create grim living conditions in monotone cities, and modern culture has lost its connection with nature, much to its detriment. This disconnection also comes at the cost of serious environmental repercussions.

For the creation of Scarlet, Quinze was inspired by the Scarlet Oak. This bright red colored tree has deep roots in the history of Washington D.C. and reinforces the enduring cultural link between civic symbolism and natural imagery. Arne Quinze appropriates this symbol and attempts to reactivate its presence by encouraging a dialogue about environmental awareness. Quinze wants to motivate the viewer experientially through the power of Scarlet, empowering them to work actively towards a better-balanced society.

“I was shocked to learn that since I was born in 1971, we, as humans, have managed to destroy one-third of flora and fauna existing at that time. As an artist, I consider it my duty to use my art to call for a better balance between culture and nature. I am trying to encourage a conversation that will change the way we think and ask questions. By doing so, I want to raise the awareness of the viewing public, encouraging a more careful and considered approach to our urban planning.


28 tons of metal & aluminium

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