Bronze equestrian statues can be easily found at squares in major European cities. Most of them are erected to commemorate emperors or war heroes. This bronze statue depicting a child on a rocking horse was also created to be placed at a square but it is very different from traditional bronze statues. Then for whom is this statue made to commemorate? Elmgreen & Dragset, the creators of this artwork, are artistic duos: Michael Elmgreen of Denmark and Ingar Dragset of Norway. The artists have studied for a long time how public sculptures, signages and other visual language function as symbols in our subconsciousness. This artwork, which also expresses humor and paradox of public sculptures, was exhibited for 18 months in 2012 at the Trafalgar Square as part of the Fourth Plinth.
Trafalgar Square, which was built to commemorate British Victory in the Battle of Trafalgar, has four plinths surrounding Adm. Nelson. On the plinths there are the statues of 19th-century war heroes including George IV. Originally the fourth plinth was built for William IV, but it had been left blank for more than 150 years due to budget issues. Since 1999, it has been the platform for showcasing innovative public art. This golden statue was chosen for 2012. Historically equestrian statues symbolize the power and leadership of kings or admirals. The artist, however, criticizes art being abused to express power. This large equestrian statue, which measures up to 4 meters in height, does not have a powerful horseman or horse, simply a child enjoying riding on his rocking horse.
Children go through everyday struggles for growth. The child on the plinth is in the position of a war hero, but he does not have any trace of history behind, just a hopeful future ahead. The artist praises hope for the future generation. Ultimately the work shows that changes are not led by wars but by the imagination and creativity of children.