On the trail: revisiting art pieces in RWS

Many of us couldn’t tell good art that is right in front of us. Don’t believe it?

Have you walked past many of these artworks around the Resort, not knowing that they are the handiwork of many a renowned artist or sculptor?

Let’s take a walk and see if you missed these marks. Or we did, with our remark.

The neo-pop artworks

merlion britto resorts world sentosa
Found near the Bullring. This is probably the prettiest Merlion in town though it doesn’t spout water or shoot laser out of its eyes.

Many of us probably refer to this as ‘the Merlion piece’. Found in front of the Bullring, it’s a popular spot for photos and selfies. But we doubt many of those who took those shots know this – it is just one of many pieces by Romero Britto found around the Resort.

Romero Britto is one of the most successful commercial artists around, reportedly earning $12 million a year. The 53-year-old millionaire Brazilian artist signature style is neo-pop, filled with bright colours and bold patterns that are hard to miss.

He may no longer paint every single piece attributed to him – he has assistants – but however he directs them, the final product still has a style that is decidedly his.

Consider these pieces, all marked by Britto.

The Big Apple
The Big Apple
universal studios singapore britto
A one-of-a-kind Britto.

This commissioned piece of Universal Studios Singapore behind Festive Hotel’s concierge took the artist six months to make.

Some of his art are actually for sale too. You can peruse the ‘gallery’ in the lobby of Festive Hotel, and bring home a Britto with you. That’ll set you back between $2,000 and $80,000.

In return, you’ll get to brag that you own something similar to George W. Bush, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Michael Jordan – a Britto displayed on your own wall.

britto gallery resorts world sentosa
“Yes, I’ll take everything here.” Britto’s works for sale are displayed at Festive Hotel.
karl lewis art britto
Make sure you have a wall big enough for this 71- x 48-inch painting of runner Carl Lewis.
Or this painting of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci who was the first in Olympic history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics.
Or this painting of Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci who was the first in Olympic history to score a perfect 10 in gymnastics.


Dale Chihuly and his delicate glass sculptures

How often do you lift your head up to admire the ceilings? Not that often, unless you’re at the Sistine Chapel.

But you definitely should when you are at the lobby of Crockfords Tower. Look up and you’ll find the Armonia Chandeliers from Dale Chihuly, the artist who has redefined modern glass sculpture as fine art.


chihuly chandelier crockfords
Chandeliers by Dale Chihuly at Crockfords Tower lobby

Another work of Chihuly is hidden inside the Casino. The centrepiece is an intricate glass tower with yellow and orange tendrils that stretch up to two-storey high.

This masterpiece is amazing in real life.

Chihuly, now 76 years old, is an American glass sculptor who is estimated to be worth US$10 million. His works–often massive architectural installations–are found in Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Bellagio Resort in Las Vegas and many other places.

Like Romero Britto mentioned above, Chihuly doesn’t personally work on the art pieces any more but act as a ‘director’ to the apprentices. (He had injured his left eye and dislocated his right shoulder in two different accidents.)

Though the actual process of glassblowing is delegated to others, Chihuly still draws. You’ll find several prints by the artist along the corridors of the ground floor of Hotel Michael.

From the prints, you can see hints of the artist’s glass works–out-of-this-world creations with extending tendrils and pleasing contrasting colour combinations.

These prints, signed by Chihuly, are not for sell. Though you can get similar works from US$2,100 from Chihuly’s workshop.

chihuly painting Singapore

chihuly painting Singapore

chihuly painting Singapore


Salvador Dali and the bizarre elephant

Salvador Dali's Space Elephant with its spindly legs guards the Galleria.
Salvador Dali’s Space Elephant with its spindly legs guards the Galleria.

On your way from Hotel Micheal to Festive Hotel, you’ll pass by an elephant with spindly legs and an obelisk on its back.

The bronze sculpture, Space Elephant, is one of the best-known icons of the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí , appearing in many of his drawings.

Dalí is one of the most regarded artists of the 20th century. With his long and twirly moustache, he was also one of the most flamboyant. One of his many publicity stunts includes wearing a deep-sea diving suit and helmet while delivering a lecture.

His most famous painting is The Persistence of Memory which features melting watches. His most expensive painting was ‘Nude on the Plaine of Rosas’ sold for US$4 Million in 2009.

Fun fact, Dalí designed the logo for lollipop brand Chupa Chups.


Fernando Botero and the chubby sculptures

Adam and Eve
Adam and Eve

At the centre of the foyer between the Galleria and entrance to Hotel Michael stands the ‘first couple’. No, not the US president and spouse but Adam and Eve.

These large and rotund sculptures are the works of Colombian artist Fernando Botero. His bronze sculptures can be found around the world on Park Avenue in New York City, Champs-Élysées in Paris and by the Singapore River at Raffles Place (The Bird).

He is one of the most famous Latin American artists. One of his most expensive sculptures–a 10-foot tall sculpture of two dancers–was sold for about US$1.7 million at an auction in 2011.

Botero is also an accomplished painter. His painting, The Musicians, is estimated to be worth US$2.6 million and is the most expensive painting by a Colombian artist.


Auguste Rodin and his pondering sculpture

As you walk into The Forum from the foyer of between Hotel Micheal and The Galleria, you’ll find one of the most famous sculptures in the world–The Thinker by Auguste Rodin.

The bronze sculpture–a man deep in thought–is set at the top of a flowing fountain. This is one of the castings of Rodin’s original work made after his death in 1917.

While we don’t have the exact value of this piece, we know that a casting made by Rodin himself was sold for US$15.3 million in 2013.

The French artist was a pioneer of modern sculpture. During his time, Neoclassical sculptures were common but his works were different. Some of his were considered so realistic that he was accused of directly moulding them from the body of a model.

Now that you know of the famous art pieces, keep your eyes peeled while you’re visiting.

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