In 1968, sculptor Sorel Etrog was commissioned to create a statue for the Canadian Film Awards and produced the striking bronze figure. The Etrog exemplifies this artist's interest in the concept of growth. It is, according to it's sculptor, a standing figure whose focus of energy is concentrated in the upper part of the body, thus reflecting the process involved in transforming an idea or concept into a visual reality. The parallel between sculpture and filmmaking is manifest in the Etrog.
Modelled in wax in Florence, it was cast at the noted Michelucci foundry in Pistoia, Italy. The first editions were gold-plated and featured a navel, which over the years has mysteriously disappeared. For a decade the production of the statue, renamed "Genie" before the 1980 film awards, was undertaken by master silver and goldsmith Vickers Head.
Arguably the most critically celebrated Canadian sculptor alive today, Etrog's impressive and multi-faceted career has spanned more than 40 years. In that time he has been prolific as a sculptor, a painter, an illustrator, a poet and a filmmaker. His work has been displayed at major international galleries around the world from Israel to Singapore, from India to Switzerland. In North America his position is secure in many of the most prestigious private and public collections, including the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the National Gallery of Canada and Le Musee des Beaux Arts.
For decades Sorel Etrog's sculpture has played an important role in the development of the Canadian Arts. In 1988, he was commissioned to represent Canada with a sculpture for the Summer Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. In 1994, the Government of Canada donated the sculpture Sunbird to Normandy, France, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation by Canadian forces. In 1967, Etrog was commissioned by Expo in Montreal to create two large sculptures for the World's Fair.
Throughout his career Etrog has been closely associated with many of the twentieth century's greatest thinkers and artists. He has collaborated with distinguished international literary figures Samuel Beckett, and Eugene Ionesco and also maintained a close working relationship with Canada's famed communication theorist Marshall McLuhan. In 1995 Etrog was named a Member of the Order of Canada and in 1996 was appointed Chevalier of Arts and Letters by the Government of France.