Welcome to New York city, Bart Simpson. A statue of the iconic cartoon character by Nancy Cartwright, the actress who provides his voice, has been unveiled in celebration of The Simpsons‘ 25th anniversary.
The piece took Cartwright, who has only one hour-long sculpting class under her belt, 20 hours to complete in her Northridge, California studio. “I had seen other people work with clay, and there was something inside me . . . I had this innate knowing that I could sculpt,” she told the New York Post. “It’s a different kind of artistic gratification than I get from creating voices.”
Titled Bartman, the statue depicts Bart wearing a superhero cape, as per the suggestion of Cartwright’s son, Jack. “That kind of made it; it really established who Bart really is with the cape,” she explained. Cartwright originally worked in oil-based clay, before creating a mold of the bust and having it cast in bronze.
Cartwright called the piece, which was inspired by a Homer Simpson statue on the Fox lot in Los Angeles, a “gift to Fox” in an interview with the AP.
In addition to the New York version, on view outside of News Corp. headquarters in Midtown, a second copy of the sculpture will be displayed at the University of Southern California. We’ve already seen the Simpsons rendered in charming pixel art (see Animators Reimagine the Simpsons as Pixel Art), but there’s something appropriately monumental about Cartwright’s weighty bronze bust, given the epic, and still growing, run of the show.
A recent art heist in Malibu, California, had an unlikely Simpsons connection: a Roy Lichtenstein painting was one of two works stolen from the offices of the Sam Simon Foundation, a charitable organization founded by one of the series’ co-creators, Sam Simon, who died in March at 59, after a long battle with colon cancer (see Roy Lichtenstein Work Nabbed in $400,000 Art Heist at Simpsons Co-Creator’s Foundation).
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