Created by artist Richard MacDonald for the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics, Flair Across America celebrates the triumph of the human spirit and the idealization of the human form. While its message is universal, Flair Across America also embodies the Olympic credo stated by the father of the modern-day Olympics, Baron Pierre de Coubertin, “The essence lies not in the victory, but in the struggle.” Epitomizing the energy that MacDonald devotes to his monuments, the artist brought together gold-medal Olympic athletes to tour with the monument, including Kurt Thomas who popularized the gymnastic movement called The Flair.
The Gymnast Bust provides a glimpse into the creative process of the artist. Richard MacDonald created a bust that was very classical in nature, paying homage to the Greeks. In addition, he incorporated a slight twist in the bust to give the viewer a kinetic sense of the gymnasts movement. The athletes facial expression of intense focus and deliberate control, lends greater psychological gravity to the piece.