New York artist Jason Hackenwerth, known for his organic and biological forms made from latex balloons, just unveiled his latest work at the Edinburgh International Science Festival in the Grand Gallery of the National Museum of Scotland. Titled Pisces the sculpture is the artist’s interpretation of the legend of Aphrodite and Eros: in Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the Goddess of love and her son, Eros, escaped the fearsome monster Typhon by transforming into a tightly woven spiral of two fish, a figure which later became a constellation called Pisces. The spiraling form is made from 10,000 balloons which took three staff members nearly six days to blow up, after which Hackenwerth and his assistant Leah Blair wove carefully into this three dimensional structure. Pisces will be up through April 14th, 2013 and you can see much more of it on Flickr.
Since 2002 artist, dancer and choreographer William Forsythe has traveled with his audio/visual installation Scattered Crowd, created with thousands of suspended balloons in galleries, museums, banks and other architecturally significant spaces. Though the photos clearly do the work visual justice I think it’s hard to truly appreciate the full sensory experience without walking through the space itself and hearing the accompanying music by Ekkehard Ehlers, though the video gives you some idea. Forsythe refers to the work as being “an air-borne landscape of relationship, of distance, of humans and emptiness, of coalescence and decision”. The piece will next appear at Bockenheimer Depot in 2013. (via boingboing)
Since 2008 balloon artist Addi Somekh and photographer Charlie Eckert have traveled to 34 countries and shot over 10,000 photographs of people wearing balloon hats. After focusing more on balloon twisting than homework in college Somekh began working professionally as a balloon artist, charging wealthy executives up to $150 an hour to make elaborate balloon hats. He also donated the same skill to shelters for battered women and their children where he realized something: both groups, the rich and the poor, were laughing and enjoying his work in the same way. He had struck upon a democratic, neutralizing and powerful force of entertainment and enrichment, and he hatched a plan with his friend Charles to bring that gift to thousands of people across the world. Learn more on their website (flash). Thanks Stephanie for your submission to the Colossal curatorial contest!
ADA – Analog Interactive Installation, is a kinetic sculpture by German-based artist Karina Smigla-Bobinski. The installation is made form an enormous helium-inflated sphere trapped inside a small room that’s spiked with dozens of protruding charcoal pieces which scrape the edges of the gallery wall as participants push, toss, and otherwise manipulate it. Most recently it was on display at the Electronic Language International Festival in São Paulo this Summer that took place in São Paulo. It’s fascinating to me that given the constraints of the sphere and room, a single outcome (pictured at bottom) is destined to emerge, but yet requires the participation of dozens if not hundreds of gallery visitors. Reminds me of the work of Roman Ondák. (via we make money not art, photos courtesy we make money not art, s.antonio, and the artist)
Over the past few months I’ve encountered a fair share of high-speed exploding balloon photos, some of which have found their way onto Colossal including the work of Edward Horsford and recently Ryan Taylor. However these magnificent captures by designer James Huse are something wholly different. The surface of these inverted balloon photos flare and whorl like solar flares on the Sun, and yet simultaneously appear cold and frozen, perhaps the result of Huse’s decision to use milk-filled balloons. The project, entitled An Abrupt End was completed as part of his final year at Kingston Upon Thames where he’s studying graphic design and photography. The rest of his work is also impeccable and snagged him a Best New Blood award at the 2011 D&AD Awards. Somebody should hire this guy and pay him lots and lots of money. (via creative review)
I was genuinely excited to find these wonderful illustrations in my in-box this weekend. Neil Warburton is a designer and artist who has found creative outlets in illustration, photography, sculpture, and painting. This striking series of buildings and balloons grapples with ideas of love. Neil via email:
The series came to fruition after a troubled time I went through a few years back with a relationship, producing the work really helped me by creating something positive from an otherwise negative situation. I had been fascinated by the use of narrative within illustration for a long time and had wanted to use it in some work. The balloons represent love and have drifted into other works I have done since. Combining these with some epic repetitive architecture seemed to give the pieces real depth and a sense of time and space.
Check out more of his work via his website. Thanks Neil for sharing your work with Colossal!
Four recent images from photographer Ryan Taylor out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa who captures these explosively colorful shots with the help of strobe lights, colored water, milk, paint and balloons. See more of his work here.
Director Dulcidio Caldeira of ParanoidBR shot this video for MTV Brazil using a continuous row of balloons imprinted with illustrations that are then sequentially popped to create an ingenious flip book effect. Wowowowow. (via creative review)