Le Pouce is a 12 metre high, 18 tonne bronze sculpture depicting a thumb, located in La Defense, the business district of Paris located in the eastern outskirts of the city. It was sculpted by César Baldaccini in 1965 from an impression of his own thumb and fingerprints and was installed in La Defense in 1994. When juxtaposed against the high-rise office spaces the sculpture (pardon my pun) sticks out like a sore thumb; the metal grey silhouette stands out against the smooth and shiny facades of the surrounding buildings.
Le Pouce is not the only artwork in La Defense, but is the most famous of the 60 other sculptures and monuments scattered all through the district.
Amongst the blur of towering glass skyscrapers, immaculately kept shops and cafes, glossy black cars, people rushing around in suits and everything else one expects to find in a financial district, an 18-ton sculpture of a thumb is bound to stick out – literally.
Leave it to Paris to install a mammoth avant-garde sculpture in the middle of a straightlaced corporate park. Visitors passing through La Défense, Paris' largest business sector, may not be expecting to find oddball displays of art, but that's exactly what this park delivers. Standing over 40 feet tall and weighing more than 18 tons, "Le Pouce," or "The Thumb" was built in 1965 by sculptor César Baldaccini.
César was well known for his emphasis on resizing and reshaping objects synonymous with modernity. César's relationship with technology was mutually beneficial, even as it might have seemed antagonistic. Crushing automobiles and other scrap metal or recreating objects of nature with industrial materials were common themes.
Perhaps his most famous work came in the form of "expansions" of his own hands – his thumb and fingerprints, particularly. Using modern construction methodology, César took a mold of his thumb and created several absurdly enlarged versions of it, which can now be seen in parks and museums around the world. Undoubtedly the most famous of these is this gargantuan expansion in La Défense.
Standing in stark contrast to its polished, corporate surroundings, César's thumb is discolored and ruddy, containing all of the imperfections that natural forms do. Perhaps it was not his intention to provide a counterbalance to the glossy veil of corporate ambition projected by a purpose-built business park, but that's the beauty of art – it does whatever it wants.
(source; travel france)
This object is part of "Scan The World". Scan the World is a non-profit initiative introduced by MyMiniFactory, through which we are creating a digital archive of fully 3D printable sculptures, artworks and landmarks from across the globe for the public to access for free. Scan the World is an open source, community effort, if you have interesting items around you and would like to contribute, email email@example.com to find out how you can help.
Scanned : Photogrammetry (Processed using Agisoft PhotoScan)