Simon Toparovsky

Icarus Flying

Cast Iron, approx. 6'X7'


The sculpture was presented to the USC School of Medicine in 1995 by friends, colleagues and family of Peter V. Lee, M.D. The gift recognized Dr. Lee’s 40 years of distinquished service to the school, during which time he served as Chair of the Department of Family Medicine, Professor of Family medicine, Medicine, and Pharmacology, and as Associate Dean. Icarus Flying is installed in the atrium of the Norris Medical Library.

Artist Statement: The myth of Icarus has, in our culture, come to demonstrate the case for industry and science, a father’s love for his son and ideal of moderation. My interpretation of the story focuses on Icarus, as the hero: youthful and exuberant. He was raised by a brilliant father. He is full with ideas and desire. But, he has been isolated, trapped on an island his whole life. When he has his first moment of flying free, by intuition, he soars, rushing to experience his joy. His wings are melted, his flesh burned by the sun. He crashes into the sea. He is drowned but he survives, transformed. He is in pieces, but his spirit is not broken. He has suffered, but he is beautiful, glowing with radiance that can only come from experiencing the possibility of rapture in his own life.

If today, Icarus were to land in the world, it would be in Los Angeles. This is the place where people come to recreate themselves.

Icarus-PlaqueSimon Toparovsky studied at Philadelphia's Temple University, Berkeley's University of California and Oakland's California College of Arts and Crafts. He has taught at the University of California at Los Angeles and the Otis College of Art and Design. His art has been exhibited internationally and purchased for important collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Getty Center and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 1998, he was commissioned to create the life size bronze crucifix for the main altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels which was consecrated in September 2002.