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Newborn: In more Ways than One
By Valon Sopi in Kosova on 28/02/2008 with comments
Tags: Advertising, Arts, Creative, Culture, English, Inspiration, Product design, Public, Social
 
Note: Valon has published this piece as guest editorial for Speak Up, a division of Under Consideration llc, while he was an invaluable part of Ogilvy | Karrota team in 2008, during which time they created the NEWBORN Monument and received a number of international awards soon after.

Valon Sopi | 28 February 2008
 
Up to this point I thought art was something you have a gift for and something you do just to show everyone how well you can do something you enjoy. However, that all changed for me less than two weeks ago, after my lovely country of Kosova declared its Independence. We — a team of about 20 creative individuals and another 100 technicians, lead by Fisnik Ismaili — helped give birth to a massive newborn. More specifically, we created a 24-meter-long by 3-meter-high (78-feet by 9-feet) structure weighing close to nine tons, to mark our most precious day in history.

NEWBORN was made out of iron frames all wrapped around with 4mm-thick (eighth of an inch) metal-sheets. Afterwards this beauty was painted nicely in yellow resembling the color of the stars in Europa’s flag. This sculpture was created for a specific time and place, and for a specific reason. There was no art history connotation attached to it. There was no special artist or talent doing this. Above all, there was no built-up hoopla surrounding it. It was a plain work of heArt that became an icon and gave a country a nickname: NEWBORN.

NEWBORN was brought to life by few artists who wanted to mark the Independence Day of Kosova in a specific way. A total of ten days were used from conception to the birth of NEWBORN. Around-the-clock hard labor was utilized to make this art piece as successful as it can be. Balloons, yellow paint, heavy iron, cranes, hundreds of people, snow, yelling, screaming, laughing, and music, were all used to make this labor as painless as it can be. However, the pain was worthwhile and everyone that was part of this masterpiece still talk in awe of what happened that day.

What made the opening more grandiose were the rhythms of Michael Buble’s Feeling Good that helped uncover this massive baby.



The best part of it all? After the revelation of the NEWBORN, people with permanent markers had the chance to sign the NEWBORN as a memento that they had been there. In the parliament, the prime minister and the members of the parliament had the chance to sign the hand-written Declaration of the Independence on a 700-year-old parchment, while on the other side of downtown, the people — for whom that Independence serves — signed that same Declaration through the NEWBORN.

In my rather short career in design I was able to be part of something that was bigger than life. Something that took all the energy out of you just so it could be given back ten-fold. Something that marks a specific time and place in the history of a country.

As I’m writing this I am asking myself — “Why am I writing this post? To brag? To show-off? Or simply to share an exciting feeling of what it is like to make a piece of art for a bigger reason than just for a gallery showing and an article in a famous art magazine?!” Maybe I don’t even have the answer and I’m still searching for the century-old question “What is Art?” with the fear that I might have just found the answer.
 

 
[Pieces written in this blog do not necessarily represent Karrota's views and principles, but solely reflect the author's point of view]
 
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