I never go to the mall to see art. Never. So I was surprise to come across bronze sculptures and even more shocked when reading articles about the artist.
At the Oak Court mall in Memphis, Tennessee, there are seven bronze sculptures by Prince Monyo. They are very intricate and wonderfully made by someone who had no formal art training!
I really enjoyed the sculptures. They all speak to the mind of a juvenile. They seem to suggest pure fun and innocence.
Prince Monyo, (an actual ‘Prince’ according to Palm Beach Daily News) apparently, is the last in the line of descendants of Romanian Voevods Kings who grew up in a castle on the outskirts of Bucharest, Romania (would you fancy that?! A CASTLE).
After World War Two ended and the communists ruled Romania, Prince Monyo became a political revolutionary. While those around him were killed, he escaped but was later captured as a political prisoner and held in solitary confinement for 71/2 years. In prison his formal studying in mechanical engineering did not comfort him as did clay. He began to sculpture clay figures while in prison as a way to enter different worlds.
During the 1960’s, he came to the United States as a political refugee and eventually ended up in Canada where he was taught by a friend work with bronze. Then, in 1980, he opened one of the largest bronze foundries in Florida.
Prince Monyo’s bronze sculptures are displayed at numerous public facilities and buildings around the world and have been featured in magazines including International Art Guild and Architectural Digest.