City sculpture Boy with a slingshot in Vladimir

Boy with a slingshot, 2016
Boy with a slingshot, 2016

In Russia, in the center of the city of Vladimir, under the windows of the Frankie Fap pizzeria, there is an unusual urban sculpture “Boy with a Slingshot”. This sculpture was made by the Vladimir artist Mikhail Blinov in 2016 by order of the management of the pizzeria. The prototype of the sculpture is an uneasy abstract boy sitting on a bench with a slingshot, and Franky Fap’s nephew. Franky Fap is the abbreviated name of Franca Fappiano, an American-Italian gangster from the Gambino family.

Mikhail Blinov working on sculpture Boy with a Slingshot
Mikhail Blinov working on sculpture Boy with a Slingshot

About the monument Boy with a slingshot

An eight-year-old Italian boy is an orphan; he and his uncle in the 30s. last century moved to America in search of a better life. There, his uncle opens a small pizzeria and the boy helps him. The sculpture “Boy with a Slingshot” became so popular in Vladimir that it was even kidnapped several times along with the bench. The sculpture was searched for and returned to its original place. There was a belief that the one who sat next to the boy on the bench and rubbed the slingshot with his right hand would be lucky in business.

Russia. Vladimir. st. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, 15. Pizzeria Franky Phap
Russia. Vladimir. st. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, 15. Pizzeria Franky Phap

Vladimir. st. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, 15. Sculpture Boy with a slingshot, 2021

Vladimir. st. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, 15. Sculpture Boy with a slingshot
Vladimir. st. Bolshaya Moskovskaya, 15. 

About sculptor

The sculptor Mikhail Blinov is a graduate of the graphic arts department of Vladimir State University, his father and grandfather are also artists. The first serious works of M. Blinov were associated with the painting of churches, but from the 2nd year of the university his teacher Yu.G. Kolov instilled a love of sculpture and invited him to work in his workshop.

In his works, Mikhail uses various materials stone, wood, plastic, art-concrete, but his favorite material is metal. Metal is durable, easy to process and allows you to convey the smallest details of the artist’s intention. It is not without reason that it is often used all over the world for urban sculpture. But to make the sculpture “Boy with a Slingshot” Mikhail Blinov did not use bronze, but polyester material; he completed the work in a little more than a month.

Frankie Phap pizzeria interior
Frankie Phap pizzeria interior

According to the author, this material is quite durable and much cheaper than bronze, and also does not absorb moisture. The task was to create a funny sculpture so that passers-by would want to sit next to the boy, and “the slingshot is just an attribute, in those years everyone walked with slingshots.” During our trip to Vladimir, we visited the Franky Phap pizzeria, it is very cozy and tasty here.

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