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Antonio Lopez Installs Day and Night Sculpture at Atocha Train Station in Madrid
Artist Antonio Lopez observes with his wife one of his sculptures "Night", which together with "Day" were installed in Atocha train station in Madrid. Photo: EFE / Ballesteros.

MADRID.- No one else but Antonio Lopez has been in charge of supervising the team of six experts who are responsible of setting up his latest work of art titled Day and Night, two pieces made of bronze weighing over 2,000 kilos and measuring three meters high, which starting today welcome travelers who ride the AVE train at Atocha Station in Madrid. The sculpture is composed of two heads of the same child, one of the painter and sculptor´s own granddaughters, the same painter who set, only two days ago, a record for the highest price paid for a painting by a living Spanish artist.

It was at 9 am that the installation of the works of art started, the sculptures had been previously exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston in the retrospective that the museum dedicated to him. The artist was ¨moved¨ when the pieces were placed on the arrival platform of AVE at the station, where the first travellers who have contemplated them fought with the installation crew to grab the artist´s attention. ¨When the person who does things is not present, another person has to do it for him, that´s why I always like to be present when my works are installed¨, commented Lopez, while he turned sideways to look at the sculptures and then smiling at the satisfaction with the results.

Surprised by the expectation and the overwhelming presence of the public, the artist, with his eyes full of emotion, said to his wife Ï can´t believe this, I can´t believe this¨. The two sculptures have been installed one in front of the other, 50 meters of distance between them. Ï doubted on the tone, but now that I see them here I feel very satisfied¨, expressed the artist. In Day and Night, he portrays the head of one of his granddaughters who is just a few months old. In Day the girl directs her attentive and awakened sight at the spectators, while at Night, with her eyes closed, sleeps quietly. The theme of these works of art results very symbolic and expressive. Both sculptures have been worked in unity, as Lopez explains: ¨Together, of the same size and of the same girl, and of the same age, suggested to me the passing of time, the day and the night¨.

Running from on side to the other, the artist from Tomelloso, aged 72, gave the last details on the installation of his works of art. Ï feel very good¨, he has said while a woman asked for an autograph for her son, an admirer of his art since he was very little¨. In between the curious people, one has asked about his method; ¨Hello, congratulations, they are impressive. When I saw them I asked myself how did he do them?¨. ¨Well first in clay, the size of the girl, then I go to my workshop…¨the sculptor explained patiently.

At the beginning, it was thought that a large piece would be made, even though the measurements from the original where smaller than the final ones. It was thought to be made at two meters, a size that pretended to bring the work closer to the human scale but finally after a slow selection process, Lopez decided on a monumental proportion of three meters, which is greater than the scale of the traveller who views the works of art. Even though these are colossal proportions, the two faces of the baby do not overwhelm the spectator. ¨They are modest, true? They fill, but do no interfere with the space, they are living a life close to people, with people…¨said Lopez.

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July 3, 2008

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