Artists Gillie and Marc offer New Yorkers a seat on their couch, with hopes to ignite a global community

Care to take a seat on Gillie and Marc's couch? Their latest sculpture ‘Wild Couch Party’ is in NYC.
Care to take a seat on Gillie and Marc’s couch?
Photo by Annie MacKeigan

For artists Gillie and Marc, who are best known for their sculpture and painting, themes of love and acceptance are the foundation of every work of art. Gillie and Marc have sculptures all over the world, including cities like London, Singapore, Shanghai and Sydney.

 Most recently, the two created ‘Wild Couch Party’, a massive, bronze couch statue that seats 12 of the world’s endangered species. 

“We wanted to create a relatable scene that people can come together to enjoy– time on the couch with others,” said the artists. Gillie and Marc feel that meaningful connections between friends and family happen on the couch. “By bringing people together with wildlife in this environment, we hope that the public can find a similar bond by taking a seat next to a creature that they may never get the chance to see in the wild.”

The sculpture features a hippo, Masai giraffe, African elephant, Bengal tiger, koala, chimpanzee, Grevy’s zebra, Northern white rhino, lion, mountain gorilla, orangutan and an Arabian red fox. Also seated on the couch are Rabbitwoman and Dogman, Gillie and Marc’s signature characters. 

‘Wild Couch Party’ elephant its with a dog.Photo by Annie MacKeigan

Rabbitwoman and Dogman are exactly as they sound. “Rabbitwoman and Dogman were born from a semi autobiographical tale of our own companionship,” said Gillie and Marc. “We both come from very different backgrounds, yet we are bound by universal values. The rabbit and dog represent this as two creatures that would not typically coexist in the wild, but through love and acceptance they come together as equals.”

Gillie and Marc let these values guide their other works. “This has inspired us to continue to bring out public exhibits  to cities around the globe. Through our art, we aim to inspire action and foster a deeper understanding of the need to protect our planet’s biodiversity.” 

Photo by Annie MacKeigan

The interactive sculpture is located at Fosun Plaza at 28 Liberty in Lower Manhattan. Originally Chase Manhattan Plaza, Fosun now hopes to engage the community with the open plaza. “We wanted to open up this grand space and make it accessible to the community,” said Jason Berkeley, chief operating officer at Fosun. “A big part of that has been public art, so the Gillie and Marc sculptures will be here for a full year. We encourage everyone to come down, sit on it, look at it, take pictures around it, but also read the placards and understand the story.”

“There’s a thought process here, where in how we as living things on this planet interact with each other, hot just as humans and animals but humans and humans,” said Berkeley, who believes the climate is currently at a critical inflection point. “Every one of us has a part to play in combating climate change.” He believes by housing Gillie and Marc’s sculpture, Fosun can contribute to sharing that message with the community.  

Photo by Annie MacKeigan