10 Unusual Facts about the Iron: Man statue
1. Originally titled ‘Untitled’, it is now called ‘Iron: Man’.
2. The statue has feet hidden beneath the ground which means that overall, it is near 7m tall.
3. When Princess Diana visited the city on 6th May 1993 there was talk of hiding the artwork from her view because to some, it is unsightly.
4. There is a larger version of this sculpture made of Arctic granite in a fjord in Norway. Titled ‘Havmann’ from 1994-5 it is 10m high.
5. Artist Antony Gormley created ‘Iron: Man’ to remind people of the city’s industrial past.
6. Despite reports of rust, it is made from a type of iron which oxidises to prevent this from occurring.
7. Gormley says of his work ‘At times it is difficult to know who is the maker, and who is the made’. Perhaps this is because very often his art works are based on his own body casts.
8. The artwork was commissioned by TSB bank in 1991. When their HQ left the city, there was talk of taking the statue with them. Thankfully, as it weighs 6 tonnes this did not happen.
9. This is not the only piece of work by Gormley to have its feet hidden. In 1997’s ‘Another Place’ in Germany (the artwork is now located on Crosby Beach in England), during low tide, the legs of these sculptures are also buried beneath the sands.
10. Gormley is perhaps most famous for 1998’s ‘Angel of the North’ which is controversial to this very day.
Caiger Smith. M, AG: Antony Gormley (London, 2010)
Gormley. A (ed), Making an Angel (London, 1998)
Noszlopy. G.T, Public Sculpture of Birmingham (Liverpool, 1998)
‘Antony Gormley’, http://www.antonygormley.com