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Art

Floating Black Balloons Explore Contradictions in Artist Tadao Cern’s Installations

June 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Tadao Cern, shared with permission

Artist Tadao Cern often considers dualities and contradictions—lightness and heaviness, minimal and intricate, inanimate and lively. He channels these relational tensions into “BB,” installations featuring black balloons that float in parallel planes and incline in rows. “These boundaries are a result of our own mental rule-making, and at the end, we surround ourselves with many limitations,” the artist shared with Colossal. “(The) notion of contradictions is nothing more but a man-made concept…A feeling of nothingness and absence of all the ideas became the objective for me.”

Based in Lithuania, Cern has brought the ephemeral project to Tokyo, Beijing, New York, Paris, Venice, and Cologne in recent years. At each site, the artist revives and replaces the balloons as they lose helium and shrink. Each time, he’s reminded of the same concept that he explains on Behance:

They represent nothing, a true emptiness. Which is felt every single time looking at the cloud of these black floating objects, eagerly waiting to be forced to react to our presence…react with no message, no notion. It’s just a dialog between us and them; here and now. Which will develop into a reminiscence of an idea once balloons will deflate and the work will become nonexistent again.

Cern releases prints of his work on Patreon, and you can dive further into his spatial projects on Instagram and Behance. (via This Isn’t Happiness)

 

 

 



Art

An Enormous Red Sun Will Shine Above the Streets of New York in Thanksgiving Parade Balloon by Yayoi Kusama

November 28, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

If you haven’t had a chance to experience a Yayoi Kusama piece in person, the iconic Japanese artist will be debuting a sun-themed balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Kusama (previously), whose wide-ranging work across a long career includes her wildly popular infinity rooms and large-scale polka dotted objects, has designed “Love Flies Up to the Sky” to be floated along the streets of Manhattan. The red balloon, hand-painted with white and yellow dots and a blue face, joins “more than 1,500 dancers and cheerleaders, close to 1,000 clowns, almost 30 parade floats, and a dozen marching bands,” according to NYCTourist.com. Kusama is the first female artist to be commissioned by the parade to create a ballon as part of their Blue Sky Gallery program, joining a roster that has included KAWS, Jeff Koons, Tim Burton, and FriendsWithYou, among others. (via Hyperallergic)

Update: The Kusama balloon was grounded because of weather.

 

 



Art Photography

Moments of Isolation and Belonging Explored in Surreal Composite Photographs by May Parlar

November 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

All images © May Parlar, shared with permission of the artist

Photographer May Parlar punctuates open landscapes with colorful elements like masses of balloons and accessories separated from human wearers. Her work reflects on themes of belonging and alienation, Parlar tells Colossal, and she seeks to “explore the human condition through a feminist perspective.”

To build her fanciful scenes, Parlar explains that she layers frames to build composite images rather than manipulating the content itself. “I work across different mediums such as photography, film, performance art, sculpture, installation, and landscape art; and all of which gets merged in the end and put together with a glue that for me is the camera”. The artist first was first drawn to photography and filmmaking during her architecture and design schooling in the U.K.

Parlar describes herself as a global nomad, and is currently based in Berlin. See more of her imaginative images on Instagram, and purchase limited edition prints on Saatchi Art. (via Tu Recepcja)

 

 



Art Design

Bizarre D.I.Y. Balloon-Destroying Devices by Jan Hakon Erichsen

August 16, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Don’t invite Jan Hakon Erichsen to your next birthday party. The Norwegian artist is on a mission to destroy every balloon he encounters with an endless array of awkward Rube Goldberg-esque setups. Erichsen documents his inventions in “Destruction Diary” videos, which he posts daily on Instagram, and aggregates into compilations on YouTube. Erichsen’s usual balloon-popping tool of choice is a steak knife, but he has also employed bananas, cacti, and saws to do the deed. The artist explains in a statement that he “works within a variety of media focusing on topics like fear, anger and frustration”. In addition to his balloon-centric video work, Erichson explores other found materials in his structural D.I.Y. projects, which you can see on his website. If you enjoy Erichsen’s creations, also check out Simone Giertz’s robots.

 

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Design

Performative Rubber Garments by Fredrik Tjærandsen Deflate into Fashionable Skirts and Dresses on the Runway

June 6, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Photo: Niall McInerney

This week, you’ve most likely seen larger-than-life balloon garments deflating across your Instagram feed. Despite watching time and time again, I don’t seem to get bored with observing the models effortlessly emerge from the top shortly before yanking the rubber object down around their shoulders or waist. The inflated clothing items were designed by Fredrik Tjærandsen, a Norwegian designer who recently won the L’Oreal Professionel Young Talent Award for his 2019 BFA fashion presentation at Central Saint Martins in London. Not only are the dresses performative, they are also rewearable. After the bubble has gone flat, it can either be reinflated or simply worn as a deflated dress.

Initially Tjærandsen wanted to study sculpture during his BFA. His pieces, which he refers to as “bubbles,” reflect this initial interest in sculpture, and additionally have a conceptually tie to his childhood. “I was inspired by my own early childhood memories. I wanted to recreate the fogginess and the ‘mist’ of the memories themselves,” Tjærandsen told Vogue. “The inflated bubbles are about being able to wear an unclear memory. When the bubble emerges onto the catwalk, it’s the dream. The deflation of the bubble visualizes the moment when we realize we have a consciousness.”

You can take a peek at more of Tjærandsen’s rubbery designs on Instagram.

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Photo, R: Niall McInerney

 

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Art

Twisted and Layered Balloons Form Eye-Popping Animal Sculptures by Masayoshi Matsumoto

May 20, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Master balloon artist Masayoshi Matsumoto (previously) continues to amaze with his incredibly intricate animal creations. Using only balloons—the artist abstains from using any additional materials like markers or adhesives—Matsumoto shapes his raw materials to mimic the unique limbs, spikes, and wattles of a wide range of animals. The graceful silhouettes of birds and insects with their textural exoskeletons frequently appear in the artist’s body of work, but he also tackles flora including pitcher plants and cacti, and other creatures from mammals to maggots. Discover more of Matsumoto’s inflatable menagerie on Instagram and Twitter.

 

 



Craft

Balloon Birds by Terry Cook Mimic Their Real-Life Counterparts

March 1, 2019

Laura Staugaitis

Passing up the typical party tricks of dogs, flowers, and hats, Terry Cook riffs on classic balloon-twisting shapes with his avian creations. After modeling herons, blue tits, mallards, and other European birds, Cook completes the picture by staging and photographing each animal in its natural setting. The artist makes a point of explaining on his website that he carefully removes and deflates all balloons after his photo shoots as to not leave latex debris in the natural world. In addition to his balloon birds, Cook also works with watercolor, acrylic, ink, and even robotics. You can see more of the Aberdeen, Scotland-based artist’s in-progress and finished projects on Instagram. (via Colossal Submissions)