Arturo Di Modica
Arturo Di Modica was born in the small Sicilian city of Vittoria, in the province of Ragusa, January 26, 1941. As he grew to manhood on Sicily his sculpture began to attract attention throughout the Island which led him to make a pivotal decision at 19. In 1960 Arturo left Sicily and his family for Florence. After only two years of enrollment in Florence’s Academia Del Nudo Libero, his talent proved staying longer would serve no purpose and Arturo opened his first studio in the heart of Florence, where he worked principally in bronze and others metals but frequently traveled to Carrara known for the world’s best marble where Arturo created his own pieces in that marble at the renowned Studio Nicoli.
Well established in and around Florence for the next 12 years and increasingly throughout Italy, in 1973 Arturo made his next great lap deciding to come to America and New York City to live and work. He opened his first American studio on Grand Street in SoHo. In 1978 Arturo purchased undeveloped property on Crosby Street and proceeded to build his current studio which has been where his most famous sculpture has been created by this master artist. His greatest personal successes have not been the awards or the exhibits or his hundreds of collectors but rather the notable works he has done for the people and his love of the United States. The four he is most proud of are pieces in marble he exhibited at Rockefeller Center in 1977 and also works in bronze at Castle Clinton, Battery Park that same year, and his towering bronze horse Cavallo exhibited in Lincoln Center a few years later.
Then there is Arturo’s masterpiece his 3.5 ton bronze “Charging Bull” completed in December 1989, which has now stood at the southern tip of Broadway, south of Wall Street, where New York City was founded at Bowling Green.
By almost anyone’s standards “Charging Bull” has become the most famous work of sculpture anywhere, drawing millions of visitors each year and constantly being featured in print and broadcast media worldwide. In recognition of his body of work and the singular creativity and fame of “Charging Bull” in 1999 Arturo was selected for one of the most prestigious annual awards given in the United States the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Married to a young woman from his home town of Vittoria, Arturo once again is working both in Sicily and New York City dividing his time between both. And it is right in Sicily where some of his most ambitious projects yet are under development. He is building a complex named Studio of the New Renaissance not far from Vittoria where he will have his newest as well as school for young sculptors from around the world, and a complex that will contain various other facilities for the public and visitors.
Most of all as a symbol for Sicily and Italy for a new century Arturo has conceived and is building detailed models for what he is calling the “Horses of Ippari” to be built in Ragusa, two tall horses each more than 90 ft. in height, face to face rearing up on their hind legs that will form a monumental soaring archway through the Sicilian landscape and over Ippari River, unlike any such work seen on earth. When completed, it will be the largest sculpture in Italy and all of Europe.