It’s no secret that the large inflatable bird, an absurd creation that comes to us courtesy of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has caused a bit of a pop culture frenzy. “Countlessduck-themed products have shown up at shops and restaurants. Teenagers are wearing rubber-duck outfits, and tourist kiosks are selling rubber-duck postcards,” writes the New York Times’ Joyce Lau. “Its smiling face was even seen at the Cheung Chau bun festival, a 200-year-old tradition on an outlying island.”
When the balloon sculpture was deflated for maintenance earlier this month, the duck’s temporary demise prompted pure panic (particularly on Twitter), with one disappointed bird fan stating to AFP, “The sky looks like it is crying for me — I took time off from work just to see the duck, now it is just a blob.”
Hofman’s beloved masterpiece was eventually revived, and the world hopped on the gigantic waterfowl wagon once again — even going as far as involving the Rubber Duck in a viral campaign to commemorate Tiananmen Square.
The bird comes to the U.S. courtesy of The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust right in time for the International Festival of Firsts. We can’t wait to see how Pennsylvania responds to duckmania in the months to come!!