The Rocking Horse A Dynamic and Interactive Equine Sculpture

A behind-the-scenes look at the production of the Rocking Horse sculpture, enjoyed by countless visitors

The Rocking Horse is a giant interactive public art installation designed by Gabor M. Szoke. Sitting at 11 meters long and 6 meters high, the 3.5-ton horse sculpture is an interactive display of visual delight and clever engineering. The equine sculpture is made of an assembly of wooden slats, painted in bright colors, with the final design accommodating up to 70 riders. The sculpture has the actual ability to rock back and forth when pushed by riders in unison. In collaboration with András Huszár, the public sculpture was displayed at several locations throughout Europe. It then made its way to Vienna, Austria as a part of the World Harmony Run closing event.

A frontal view of the unique Rocking Horse sculpture, able to hold up to 70 riders
View of the industrially whimsical public statue, which can hold up to 70 riders

Known primarily for his impressive large-scale animal sculptures, Szoke describes his own style as industrial-imperial. The artist leans towards heavy, natural, and high-quality materials. With his aesthetic, he reinvents archaic concepts in a contemporary manner. He takes complex anatomical figures and conceptualizes them into industrial reconstructions. His work acts as a majestic tribute to noble creatures, reminding us of the beauty of the natural world in unexpected and unique ways. Based in Budapest, Szoke has become an internationally lauded sculptor, creating public artwork around the globe.

A group of riders interact with the Rocking Horse sculpture
Riders enjoying the interactive kinetic public sculpture

Travel has had a profound effect on the artist, who credits his time abroad as a major source of inspiration. His experiences in different continents proved to him the capability of public art to become a defining and emblematic element of its surroundings. The Rocking Horse is an installation that facilitates community participation. Its bright colors are whimsical and inviting, and at a deeper level, represent the beauty of diversity. The sculpture provides an instance of diversion in which strangers can ride together and enjoy an exhilarating moment.

The Rocking Horse in front of Vienna’s City Hall at night
Stunning nighttime view of the sculpture in front of Vienna’s Rathaus

Szoke aims to inform and enrich environments with his public art. However, he eschews the traditional approach of marble and bronze sculpture. Rather, he reinterprets classical public tributes with modern materials that correspond to our contemporary society. His works are highly durable, with the goal of lasting for future generations. In his world, baroque grandeur and strict functionality of industrialism can harmoniously coexist.