This gorgeous sculpture entitled Colpo d’ala, which looks like it is immersed in the clear water moat surrounding the John Ferraro Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (“LADWP”) building, resembles a large bird ready to take flight. The sculpture, which is tilted upward, is a highly polished triangular block ripped in half by a powerful invisible force, creating its wing affect and shape.
It’s literally part of the backdrop of the Disney Hall, and downtown Los Angeles skyscrapers. The water’s shadows create a shimmering counter-balance and become the foundation of not just the sculpture, but an allusion for a bird at home ready for a flight–but only to return home later on.
"Colpo d’ala" (wing-beat) by Arnaldo Pomodoro is distinguished from other public monuments in Downtown by remembering and paying homage for our international endeavors. It was given as a gift from the Italian government in gratitude for the $1.5 billion Italy received from the United States between 1948 and 1952. Italian Prime Minister Ciriaco De Mita presented the six ton bronze sculpture to the United States on December 12, 1988 at dedication ceremonies commemorating the 40th anniversary of the The Marshall Plan. Source: Public Art in LA
Two recurring themes in Pomodoro’s work–the perfect form torn asunder, and the striking contrast between a smooth surface and a complex interior–are apparent in "Colpo d’ala". The exposed mechanistic interior identifies the work as created by man while the allusion to a bird suggests nature.
As evidenced from the picture above, these two polar opposite motifs quite literally forged in this beautiful and elegant installation.
Along with the clean lines of the DWP building, its surrounding pools of water are another form of Public Art as their clean lines, small ripples, determined texture, and use of the elements to frame the building make it alluring, tranquil, and ephemeral.
Next time you’re downtown, be sure to check out the John Ferraro LADWP building with its "Colpo d’ala," sculpture, the surrounding water ponds and beautiful gardens, and the DWP structure itself.