Getting this photo took some perseverance. With all the selfie-shooters and the “I was there” poseurs (the most popular shot was someone’s goofy head sticking out an eye socket), I had to patiently wait my turn.
We’re back in Krakow’s Market Square, and the juxtaposition of this modern sculpture and the 13th Century clock tower provided an interesting contrast of color, texture, and lines.
The sculpture, affectionately dubbed – you guessed it: “The Head,” is officially and more romantically named, Eros Bendato or Eros Bound. It was created by Polish artist Igor Mitoraj, and this large, hollow noggin certainly adds a modern touch to a square lined with lovely medieval buildings.
The 13th Century clock tower has a secret that I didn’t notice when I visited, and also can’t detect in the photo – it leans 22 inches. A storm in 1703 knocked it almost 2 feet out of kilter. Now that must have been stormageddon!
James & Terri
In the great game of life, we’re always queuing to get ahead ;-). Sorry, couldn’t resist!
Dina, no apologies necessary. Puns are always welcome at Gallivance. ~James
Your perseverance paid off! Great photo!
Thanks for the comment and for dropping by the blog. It’s funny about these famous photos spots. I was in Copenhagen recently and was attempting to photograph a small, riverside statue of the Little Mermaid. There were a couple of tour buses and with all the queuing for photos, I finally gave up. Just too many selfies. ~James
Gives a whole new meaning to getting inside someone’s head.
Great one Dorothy. I wish I had thought of it to use in the post. 🙂 ~James
Thanks Diana. It’s a very unusual sculpture in a unique setting. ~James
Patience pays off! What a neat sculpture!
Thanks Laura. Apparently there are a couple of other copies, which makes great sense to me. Why go to the huge effort to create something this cool and just have one. ~James
I bet you did have to wait patiently for all the selfie-posers to leave this crazy head. It almost looks in your picture like that clock tower is leaning. You must have planned it that way!! I too like the juxtaposition of the head with the lines of the clock tower. Cool story. Stormageddon!! 🙂
Cathy, I must admit to have taken a few selfies, but honestly, 95% of them get only my (and Terri’s) forehead, or are a straight shot up the nostrils (both which get the immediate erase button). I must be missing something, because selfies seem to be extremely popular. And what about the selfie sticks? Have you seen those? I’ll just keep shooting other folks and other sights – forget the selfies. ~James
I know what you mean, James. My selfies always look horrible for just the reasons you mentioned. I think only very young and beautiful people look good in selfies. The selfie sticks are all the rage in China. And I don’t know a single Chinese person who isn’t addicted to selfies. I see people, especially young girls, taking them anywhere and everywhere! Usually with coy looks on their faces, pouty lips, or fluttering eyelashes. It makes me want to say: “In love with yourself much?” 🙂
Thanks for your patience. Wonderful shot. The kneeler in the back gives some perspective on the size of this head. Wow.
I admit that I almost gave up Tess. Some people are totally oblivious to others and this is particularly true of selfie shooters. I was mumbling “Ahhh, for Pete’s sake – move along.” But it turned out well in the end. Patience is a virtue. ~James
Patience is a virtue, I agree. 🙂
Great photo and some funny comments! I assume they are going to set it upright???
Marilyn, there was a thick concrete slab underneath, so I assume that the head stays where it is. And I just love clever comments, don’t you? ~James
Yes, I do love those witty comments! Humor is always a good thing.
Who could resist an eye socket photo? The poor thing must have a terrible headache at the end of each day. 🙂
Sue, I’m not sure if people crawling in and on public art is a good thing, but if this is an indicator, this piece was successful. The artist must have known it was going to happen, so hopefully he planned accordingly. ~James
Let’s hope he sees it as a supreme compliment. 🙂
I never … not read your blog! You always give me something amazing visually and I love your background stories! Keep it coming! 🙂
Thanks Dixie, these kind words are great to hear. We realize that there’s lots, and lots, and LOTS of stuff to read online, and we just want to make sure that our blog is interesting and doesn’t waste anyone’s time. Thanks for your continuing support. ~James
Thanks so much for reblogging our post. This is an interesting contrast of old and new, and thanks for helping us show it to a few more folks. ~James
Now this one turns a head or two, I’m sure! Have never even heard of this, but what a great sculpture! You’re the best at finding the unusual wherever you travel!
Thanks Rusha. Apparently there was some controversy about placing this sculpture so close to the beautiful old clock tower, but in the end, the artist prevailed. As I said, I think it makes a dandy contrast. ~James
Krakow, yes, I knew I’d seen it! 🙂
Given its size and location, it’s hard to miss this head. Don’t you love the vibe in this square? ~James
I really liked Krakow! It was bloody freezing when I was there though – it was see something, dash to a cafe, see something, dash to a cafe… 🙂
Great black and white photo James. I have to admit I wasn’t expecting an arty post when I read your title. I thought it would be a funny story about waiting in line for the loo! Silly me.
I’m glad the title grabbed your attention Carol – it’s doing its job. In these days of too much info and too many options, catchy titles are essential. ~James
Patience paid off …. great shot!
Thanks. I must admit that my patience wore thin, but I’m glad that I held out for this people-free shot. ~James
It is hard. Last year in Cambodia I waited for my turn at the ;Laura Croft Tomb Raider’ area for a shot. The crowd was thick and pushy. I lost my husband in the maze of winding walls. It was scary… and I didn’t get my shot. Sometimes I have the patience to wait it out, but at times you just can’t believe how people act. We are all here to see the same thing so why push and want to be first? We can all have a chance if we are patient and wait our turns. Then there are those that see you with your camera raised and they stand in front of you! UG ! travel etiquette— someone should have to take lessons before given a passport!
Certain groups are worse at this than others. I swear, that the the average IQ in groups decreases as the size of the group increases. They seem to get a herd mentality, and can be oblivious and pushy for sure – particularly toward individuals or couples. ~James
But, worth the wait.
Luckily, I wasn’t there for the high season. Otherwise, I might have given up. ~James
I remember having the same problem!
Andrew, I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t just my back luck to be there at a busy time. We spent a week in Krakow, and this square was buzzing with activity every day we visited. ~James
You did well to get that picture. I settled for the top half so that I could cut all of the people out at pavement level.
How did you rate Krakow as a place to visit and stay?
We really enjoyed Krakow Andrew, although I must admit that we didn’t visit any of the POW sights. We had gotten our fill of the POW story in Berlin. But most travelers don’t really think about Krakow in any other way, and there’s lots of other history there; which we enjoyed. ~James
I’m sure you must have seen this head Joanne. ~James
I’m drawing a complete blank. Assuming I ever get my photo library back – currently being held hostage by my new laptop – I’ll have to check out my pictures!
What a curious sculpture! And the fact about the tower thrown out of position by a storm? Either the bricks were poorly made or the wind was really strong!
Lia, I was intrigued by the leaning tower as well. I don’t really understand how it could have moved 2 feet and not topple. I live in hurricane country and have seen winds that could do this – but in the center of Poland? ~James
Hmmmm, could it have been an architectural mistake and someone tried to cover it up long ago?
Never miss a photo again due to those pesky selfie takers! Take a few shots and then disappear the people with the magic of Photoshop!
Pesky selfie takers – well put Bob. The real problem isn’t the selfie takers, it’s the oblivious selfie takers who don’t recognize what a nuisance they are for everyone around them. ~James
Very cool photo! Happy spring – hope you are having fun!
Thanks Pam. This head and old clock tower made the perfect subject. Happy Pollen to you as well. ~James
Crawling on public art: It’s almost a mantra at Burning Man, James. I was laughing at the challenge of getting a person free photo. Not that we mind people in our photos, but a good art piece deserves being people free for its photo. Many’s the time I have waited like you. 🙂 –Curt
Curt, I guess it says something about the quality of a piece of art if it can motivate perfectly sane and mature adults (who should know better) to crawl inside a sculpture and stick their head out of an eye socket for a photo. I’d certainly expect this sort of behavior at BM, but Krakow’s main square? ~James
Certainly depends on what it was designed for, and especially whether any harm might result to the piece. And of course, there is the factor of whether it detracts from other’s enjoyment… Peggy, for example, loves to touch sculptures. Her enjoyment is tactile as well as visual. –Curt
Great photos. I don’t think that was there when I went to Kraków, at least I didn’t see it. At the time I had a broken foot though so walking was a little difficult.
Marie, if you had a broken foot, it’s quite understandable that you may have missed this corner of the square. If you remember the square, the head was in the SW corner next to the clock tower. Next time, just watch for the tourist crowds taking goofy selfies. ~James
An impressive piece of art – thanks for the photo! I am very uncomfortable about the selfie culture and instant posting but can’t figure out if it’s because I’m just grumpy…seems too self obsessed somehow.
We’ve taken a few selfies (95% which were terrible and got tossed), but it’s something we rarely do. I don’t mind the selfie culture so much as the people taking selfies who are oblivious to every other human on the planet. These are the self obsessed folks who are a such a nuisance for the rest of the world. ~James
When I read the title I thought you meant you were lined up for the bathroom (head). 🙂 this was much better. I’d love to see this in person.
I’m glad to know the title pulled you in Juliann. This modern art makes quite a contrast to the Medieval building which line the square. ~James
Thanks very much for linking to our post. We spent a week in Krakow, and really enjoyed it; particularly spending time in the Market Square. ~James