He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place sculpture in Toronto by Gilles and Marc

World-renowned artists just pedalled an amazing interactive sculpture into Toronto

A remarkable new bronze sculpture by the internationally acclaimed artistic duo Gillie and Marc has arrived in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Unveiled at David Pecaut Square, the piece, titled “He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place,” will be on display for the next year, spreading messages of equality, acceptance, and conservation.

Gillie and Marc Schattner, described by The New York Times as “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s history,” have transformed public spaces worldwide with their thought-provoking works. Their latest sculpture for Toronto invites interaction, allowing visitors to engage directly with the art.

The sculpture features the artists’ beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, accompanied by a majestic northern white rhinoceros on a bicycle built for four. The public is encouraged to hop on the fourth seat for a whimsical journey.

“Our characters Rabbitwoman and Dogman are like our own reflections, blending humanity with the wild. They’re out there, spreading the message of conservation, inspiring people to care for our planet and its creatures. It’s heartwarming to see others connect with them, having fun while learning about wildlife,” Marc shared.

He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place sculpture in Toronto by Gilles and Marc
“He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place” is an interactive sculpture in Toronto by Gillie and Marc, the back seat is just for you

Rabbitwoman and Dogman symbolize diversity and acceptance, portraying the story of two opposites becoming best friends and soul mates. The inclusion of the rhino emphasizes compassion for and the conservation of endangered animals.

“The unveiling of this sculpture marks a huge milestone for us, as it’s a smaller version of our most popular exhibit, previously showcased in London and NYC,” Gillie said. “We’re excited to bring this beloved piece to Toronto and share its message of love and unity with the community.”

Measuring 4.81 x 1.3 x 2.22 metres and weighing 1422 kilograms, the sculpture adds to the artists’ impressive portfolio, with works displayed in over 250 cities worldwide.

“Public art plays a crucial role in shaping the identity and vibrancy of a downtown area,” said Janice Solomon, Executive Director of Toronto Downtown West BIA. “Gillie and Marc’s sculpture helps to beautify the area, foster community engagement, and enhance the economic vitality of the city. We are proud to have ‘He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place’ join the other 70+ pieces of public art in our BIA.”

Torontonians and visitors alike are invited to take the spare seat at the rear of the sculpture for a photo opportunity and engage with art that not only entertains but also inspires meaningful conversations about our connection with wildlife. Use the hashtag #LoveTheLast and join the campaign for conservation.

The exhibition will be on display at David Pecaut Square at 215 King St. W. until May 2025.

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