The violinist bursting out of the floor in the foyer of the muziektheater in the ‘Stopera’ (City Opera House) is a reference to Amsterdam’s vibrant, irrepressible Jewish community, which used to be centred in this district before World War II.
In the Leidsebosje, the patch of green between the busy Leidseplein entertainment area and trams rattling around the corner in the Stadhouderskade, this little chap appeared one night, sawing through a branch in one of Amsterdam’s biggest and oldest trees. The tree is fighting back, over the years growing out over his saw.
The square in front of the Oude Kerk (Old Church) is right in the centre of Amsterdam’s notorious red light district, hence this work set in the cobblestones. I don’t know if the padlock is a real security device, to deter those who are both art lovers and unscrupulous, or an essential part of the image.
I do love the idea of all this though – art for the people, accessible, well executed, witty, anonymous. Amsterdammers enjoy it too, which is why it has stayed there.