Shakira has had quite the year, to say the very least.
After dropping the diss track of the century with Bizzarap (“sal…pique“), dancing with knives while being rightfully honored with the Video Vanguard Award at the 2023 MTV VMAs (and inspiring a whole new sub-genre of Britney Instagram dancing videos), dodging jail time (She Wolves don’t have time for taxes!), the “Las de la Intuición” legend has been officially immortalized in bronze. (What, not enough gold to go around in the Puerta de Oro de Colombia?)
In recognition of her storied career, the Mayor’s Office of Barranquilla presented family and close friends with a sculpture in tribute to Shakira, the biggest star (now quite literally) to hail from the capital district of the Atlántico department.
The statue is 6.5 meters tall (about 21 feet tall), and made of bronze by the plastic artist Yino Márquez and over 30 workers, including young students and graduates of the city’s District School of Arts. Brazil’s Christ the Redeemer? Shaking and crying in his dirty concrete and soapstone robes.
“With this sculpture, Barranquilla residents will feel more proud of our cultural reference, closer to her, and she will receive a tribute from the city that she loves so much. It will be an attraction for visitors to come to make a ‘pilgrimage’, take a photo, stay in a hotel and invest in our beautiful city and get to know the city where Shakira was born,” said Mayor Jaime Pumarejo in a statement (translated to English), via a release.
“I feel deeply honored by this recognition from my hometown. That they wanted to immortalize me in bronze is a gesture that I will always carry in my heart. Barranquilla is and will forever be my home, it is the land where I was born and where my artistic dreams were born,” Shakira said in a statement of her own.
“My mother is as excited as I am about this recognition that she received on her birthday, and it’s become the best gift. She represents the wonderful heart of the people of Barranquilla, who with joy receive this monument on the banks of the Magdalena River,” she added. (Happy birthday, Nidia!)
Yino Márquez explained that the statue is meant to convey the idea of Shakira as the river and the sea, and that “being vertical with her arms raised and holding a light in her hands allows to symbolize transcendence. The waves are made of aluminum to give more strength to the symbology that I want to express.”
“To make this sculpture we first began modeling it in clay, then we made a mold in silicone and fiberglass, and in the end we cast it in bronze. It is a cast in bronze and parts in aluminum,” he said, adding that it’s a reference to influential Barranquilla-born writer Marvel Moreno, who in her work In December the Breezes Arrived described Barranquilla as next to the river, near the sea.
“Barranquilla in this case is Shakira, because it is the symbolism of the woman and the city, and she is located on the boardwalk next to the river, near the sea,” the artist said. (Again, roughly translated.)
The sculpture is located in la unidad funcional 3 of the Gran Malecón, which is currently 80% complete. Public access is expected in the first quarter of 2024, so don’t plan your pilgrimages just yet.
Can’t wait for when civilization falls, all history is destroyed, and this is one of the monuments still standing and she starts being worshipped as a goddess by the people left https://t.co/7FkbFU0r4d
— ⋆ Tỏast ⋆ (@th3mb0fication) December 27, 2023
Appropriately, Stan Twitter has quickly recognized that this beautiful structure will soon be worshipped long after we’re gone.
Future beings in the year 3023 that come across the ruins of Earth will (correctly) assume that its inhabitants all bowed down in worship of the Dónde Están los Ladrones? Diosa and her Truth-Telling Hips and Ojos Asi, giving thanks for her small and humble breasts and thanking her for not abusing us like a coffee machine in an office.
And we put up our hands and sang out “Shakira, Shakira!”
Photo credit: Sony Music