The Builders A Sleek Public Sculpture Inspired by Nature

The repetition of forms occurs in nature and the man-made world. One small part of honeycomb for example, is quite a simple hexagonal shape. However, when we see the extraordinary forms made up of thousands of these tiny pieces, they can leave a memorable impression. The iconic sculpture of Gabor Szoke is always impressive and often composed of numerous similar pieces to present hair-like or scale-like textures on larger-than-life animals. A swarm of honeybees is thus the perfect motif to test his unique creative process in a different way, while still staying true to his interests and strengths as a sculptor.

Public Nature Sculpture Bees Gabor Szoke
The repeated forms are sharp and sleek, drawing attention with their gold color.

The Builders stands next to the contemporary Hillside office building in Budapest, Hungary. Influencing the decision to install a public sculpture with a nature motif, were the environmentally friendly aspects of the building. It is LEED Gold certified and there are numerous green spaces that flank the site. The sculpture shows the ability that art in public places has to highlight the extraordinary qualities of its surroundings, in this case, the incorporation of nature into a highly urban landscape. 

Public Nature Sculpture Honeycomb Gabor Szoke
The honeycomb is directly inspired by nature, though the public sculpture has an overall sleek urban art feel due to its materials and color.

The materials Szoke used for this public nature sculpture are stainless steel, marble, and granite. Thousands of bees form a curving tornado shape rising out of an angular block of honeycomb. Because the bees are not recognizable from afar, a viewing of the work presents multiple visual layers. At first, passersby might admire the sculpture as a non-figurative study of shape, adding new interpretations as they get closer and see the actual content.

Public Nature Sculpture Honeybees Gabor Szoke
A closeup on just a few of the thousands of metal bees Gabor Szoke used to construct a flowing, spiraling swarm.

“My inspiration came mostly from classical artists, but it’s mostly the animals, the topic that defines my art.”

The natural world, in particular animals, is absolutely the focus of Gabor Szoke’s art. In this piece there is an interesting comment on the parallels between the human world and the social aspects of bees. It’s no coincidence that the public sculpture is next to an office building. The nearly magic way bees work together to construct their hives and collect their vital food source could be an ideal to look up to in terms of unity and efficiency. Thus, The Builders is the artist’s unique vision of how supreme beauty can be realized through the coming together of many hands.