This Dublin dad's GIANT baby sculptures have everybody talking
Stroll down Dublin's lively Wexford Street of an afternoon and you'll encounter the slightly jarring sight of a colossal metal baby, settled on the pavement among a mishmash of other curios.
The supersized infants, officially called the Dublin Babies, are the work of Darran Robinson, aka Dr. Dublin, creator and purveyor of darkly whimsical sculptures that have been snapped up by art fans all over the world.
Darran, an NCAD Fine Art graduate, and his wife Lorraine own Decor, a proper treasure trove of rare and vintage items and oddities that demands a gander, even if you're not buying.
The four humongous infants, one of which sits on the rooftop of popular Dublin bar Fade Street Social, are sculpted in bronze by Darran in his Dublin studio.
Inside Decor, a collection of smaller Dublin Babies lurk in various corners and keep watch over the shop counter.
Some are curled up, fists and toes clenched. Others sit up, staring blankly ahead, while some have horns protruding from their shiny foreheads.
But what inspired them?
"We have teenagers." laughs Liberties native Darran, referring to the couple's two sons, Sol (19) and Maximilian (14).
"We call them Me-nagers!" adds Lorraine.
Like most left-of-centre art (Darran's pieces include the bold 'Isis: Fully Loaded', a nude Egyptian goddess complete with gun and, er... penis and 'Two Men With Vagina', a large marble piece that is exactly as described) the Dublin Babies elicit a mixed reaction.
"Most people love them but there are people who think they're sinister." says Darran. "There are four altogether, the one in Fade Street is around six feet tall, sitting. If I had my way I'd make a 20ft one."
The finished product, all smooth and shiny, belies the amount of man hours that goes into crafting each one.
The process is lengthy and Darran begins by hand modelling each piece in wax. When they are finished, each piece is dipped in porcelain and fired in an oven for 24 hours. When this stage is complete, the piece is dipped in bronze.
Various factors, such as oxidisation, give each unique piece its own individual irregularities, meaning each Dublin Baby is one of a kind. They are priced as collector's items, starting at €500 for the small sculpture, stretching to €2,500 for the supersized version.
They don't come cheap but, as Darran and Lorraine point out with a giggle, nobody puts Dublin Baby in the corner.
Check them out at Decor on Wexford Street or visit the website to browse the current collection.
What do you think of the Dublin Babies? Let us know on Twitter @HerFamilydotie.