You are walking along the Embarcadero enjoying the views which include the Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena Island, Treasure Island, and far off Oakland; ships are docked in the bay, and a multitude of sail boats are racing all around. Everything seems nice, laid back, and predictable until…you look up ahead and you see a giant, yes giant, bow and arrow sticking half way up out of the ground. Surprise! You have just found Cupid’s Arrow. (You can check that off the scavenger hunt list.
Designed by the international artists Claus Oldenberg and Coosje Van Brugen’s, “Cupid’s Span” was erected in 2003 in the new Rincon Park on the corner of the Embarcadero & Folsom Street. These same artists created “Spoonbridge and Cherry” in Minneapolis, and “Saw Sawing” in Japan. They are worth a “google” to check out the images.
This sculpture consists of fiberglass and steel, and it rises 60 feet out of the ground and covers 140 feet of the 1,000 square foot park.
“These urban pieces are treated like something that’s hit the city,” Oldenburg told The S.F. Chronicle (12/23/2002). “At first there’s the man-in-the-street opinion, but then there’s the more nuanced response. We don’t copy the objects we use, we try to transform them and we hope they go on transforming as you look at them. The idea of endless public dialogue — visual dialogue — is very important to us.”
Needless to say, their bow and arrow hit the mark as far as public dialogue. As you walk by this brilliant piece of art, you will often hear tourists and residents talk about it and what it might mean.
As more and more people fall in love with this magical city, this modern-day Atlantis, it should come as no surprise that this is the place that Cupid chooses to keep his bow and arrow.