Six Pairs of Hands to Build Bridges

During my latest boat trip on the Venetian Laguna, I admired the “Six Pairs of Hands” at the Arsenale. They are quite visible from afar, and they are supposed to be admired also by the Biennale visitors.

In 2019, at the “Arsenale”,  a gigantic installation consisting of 6 pairs of hands that start from the two embankments to intertwine and form a bridge was inaugurated.

The Venetian Arsenal is a complex of former shipyards clustered together. Owned by the state, the Arsenal was responsible for the bulk of the V’enetian Republic’s naval power from the late Middle Ages to the early modern period. After years of disuse and neglect, parts of the Venetian Arsenal complex have been modernized and repurposed to serve as the operations center for Venice’s MOSE Project, the flood defense system intended to protect the Venetian Lagoon from tidal flooding.

And Now the Hands!

Lorenzo Quinn‘s latest creation, “Building Bridges,” recent implementation of the Biennale exhibition area. Quinn’s six-pair sculpture of hands, 15 meters high and 20 meters long, symbolizes a willingness to overcome differences in all aspects of life, geographically, philosophically, culturally and emotionally.

The work celebrates 6 universal human values, and the choice of Venice is not accidental: “Venice is a world heritage city and the city of bridges. It is the ideal place to spread a message of world unity and peace so that many of us around the world build bridges with each other rather than walls and barriers;” explained the artist to tell the greatest work he has ever made. Until now. 

Friendship, Wisdom, Help, Faith, Hope and Love

Those are values ​​that together constitute a message of peace and community, capable of allowing the encounter between cultures and the overcoming of divisions.

Why Hands?

According to Lorenzo Quinn, we do everything with our hands: good and bad, we give pleasure and torment, we caress our children and we oppose our enemies. Hands are a fundamental tool for the artist, because they allow you to act and work to build something, as individuals and as a community. 

Through his hands Quinn creates art visible to all, considered a true heritage of the world, without borders and limits.

Lorenzo Quinn

Lorenzo was born in Rome, Italy, the son of the Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn and his Italian wife Iolanda. Raised in the United States and Italy he now lives in Barcelona in Spain. Quinn began practicing art as a painter in the early 1980s when he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in New York City. 


I did like the “sculptures,” I must say, however, that there were lots of criticisms. In particular one article in Artribune a widespread web magazine, and a popular source of art information, culture and everything that revolves around them such as architecture and urban planning, design, cinema, music, theater, philosophy, literature, etc.

Well, never mind Mr. Quinn; the Tour Eiffel received even worst criticism back then, yet it is still there and it is now the symbol of Paris!

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I lived the most part of my life in Washington DC, now in Italy getting to know again my country. Plenty of surprises, for good and bad, and lots of nostalgia for DC.

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