So the other night I was flipping through movies on Netflix which is my go-to place after 1 am (as a side note, I’d LOVE to watch a horror movie that has more than a 1.5 star rating…that entire category is just embarrassing). Anyways, the cover of a PBS home video called “A Program About Unusual Buildings and Other Roadside Stuff” caught my attention. It was a photo of this:
It’s a building on Long Island, NY called The Big Duck and it’s one of the most irresistibly kitschy things I’ve seen. Back in the 30’s, it was used as a shop to sell ducks and duck eggs and it became a prime example of literalism in advertising.
According to Wiki, “Buildings such as this are classified as novelty architecture. However, in architecture the term ‘duck’ is used specifically to describe buildings that are in the shape of an everyday object they relate to. (It looks like) The Big Duck has influenced the world of architecture (because) any building that is shaped like its product is now called a ‘duck’.”
Pretty awesome. The movie covers other cool buildings like the Clam Box in Ipswich, the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle in Illinois, and the hot-dog-shaped Tail o’ the Pup in West Hollywood (according to the summary since I haven’t actually watched it yet). But I don’t know why that Big Duck is particularly fascinating…
Oh yeah. Cause it’s a huge friggen DUCK.
I just read on someone’s blog that after being inspired by The Big Duck, Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman created a 105-foot-tall, 85-foot-wide “Rubber Duck” for an outdoor art exhibit in France known as the Loire Estuary 2007. This duck free-floats over a 40-mile stretch of the estuary, so visitors are never quite sure where to find it at any given time. It’s hard to miss after a certain point though and “duck hunts” have become popular.
So I guess this is my new favorite art exhibit. The French have it all. Beautiful accents, giant rubber duck, Eiffel Tower, croissants…