February 23, 2009

Buddha Gas Station Baby Welcomes You To Paris

gas_station_baby_substance.jpg

Paris's love affair with giant babies in the windows of shops which aren't really selling anything continues. This one was spotted in the Marais, crammed into the studio of substance, a design firm founded by a former staffer of architect Christian de Pontzamparc.

The 250 kg fiberglass baby sat atop a service station for 35 years. BP's crazy Helios House gas station on the corner of Olympic and Robertson is listed in substance's portfolio. But I like to think if a giant baby had been perched on an LA street I've driven many times over the years, I would've known about it.

Fortunately, by careful analysis of the baby's hand gestures, I have determined that he is making the Varada Mudra, the sign of welcome and blessing, which in this case meant, "Welcome to this gas station."

But notice he's making the mudra with the left hand, instead of the right. This variation of the mudra, called yogan-in, is only done in Japanese Buddhism, in depictions of Shaka Nyorai, the historical Gautama Buddha. So all you need to do is identify a Japanese petroleum company which opened up a chain of gas stations around Paris in the early 1970's, et voila! Mystery solved!

02.2009 - The Big Boy [substance.fr via swiss-miss]

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