spheres

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Art

Take a Walk Through Yayoi Kusama’s ‘Narcissus Garden’ Inside an Abandoned Factory in the Rockaways

July 20, 2018

Andrew LaSane

All images: Rockaway! 2018 featuring a site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama. Artwork ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Artwork courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; and David Zwirner, New York. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez.

All images: Rockaway! 2018 featuring a site-specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama. Artwork ©YAYOI KUSAMA. Artwork courtesy Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo/Singapore/Shanghai; Victoria Miro, London/Venice; and David Zwirner, New York. Image courtesy MoMA PS1. Photo: Pablo Enriquez.

The Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York has a reputation for being a popular destination for those seeking respite from the oppressive heat and congestion of the city during the summer months. Those venturing out to parks and beaches between now and Labor Day (September 3) will have the opportunity to experience a site specific installation of Narcissus Garden by Yayoi Kusama (previously), presented by MoMA PS1 as a part of the Rockaway! 2018 free public art festival.

The installation is situated inside of an old train garage at Fort Tilden and is comprised of 1,500 mirrored stainless steel spheres. The spheres reflect the graffiti-covered walls and rusted beams of the dilapidated building, so while the viewer is walking among the shiny garden, they are also seeing the destruction that Hurricane Sandy caused to the structure and to the region back in 2012. Rockaway! 2018 is the third iteration of a festival said to be a “celebration” of the recovery efforts that have taken place over the years, but the state of the building chosen for Kusama’s installation shows that things are still not back to normal after the devastating natural disaster.

Narcissus Garden was first presented in 1966 as a part of an unofficial performance at the 33rd Venice Biennial. The silver spheres were then made of plastic, and Kusama stood among her garden with a sign that read “Your Narcissism for Sale.” “What was most important about Narcissus Garden at Venice was my action of selling the mirror balls on the site, as if I were selling hot dogs or ice cream cones,” Kusama once said in an interview. The spheres were sold for $2 each.

The current installation is not for sale, but it is free and open to the public Friday through Sunday and on Labor Day from noon to 6pm. (via Hyperallergic)

 

 



Art Craft

‘Hikaru Dorodango’ is the Japanese Art of Turning Dirt into Perfect Spheres

March 28, 2016

Christopher Jobson

Artist Bruce Gardner is a master of a curious Japanese artform called hikaru dorodango (literally: ‘shiny dumpling’) where regular dirt is slowly crafted into perfect shiny spheres. The objects take several hours make as increasingly finer particles of dirt are applied to create each layer. Depending on the desired effect, a cloth might be used to create apply a fine layer of varnish to give the final outer layer a sheen akin to a billiard ball. Despite their appearance the completed dorodango remain extremely fragile and have to be treated with great care. It seems the purpose of making them might be more focused on the meditative benefits derived from process itself rather than the longevity of the artworks. (via Kottke)

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Art

The Beetle Sphere: An Actual 1953 VW Beetle Formed into a Perfect Sphere by Ichwan Noor

May 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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See-ming Lee

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This month marked a significant milestone for one of the world’s most famed art fairs as China hosted Art Basel Hong Kong for the first time. With over half of the galleries exhibiting at the fair originating from Asia and Asia-Pacific, Art Basel shined a bright international light on hundreds of artists who were relatively unknown outside of their respective regions.

One such artist was Jakarta-based sculptor Ichwan Noor with Mondecor Jakarta who arrived with this giant sculpture of a 1953 Volkswagen Beetle that, combined with polyester and aluminum, has been morphed into a perfect sphere. Apparently this is one in a series of spherical (and cubical!) vehicles by the artist, but he also works in a variety of other subjects including anatomical forms. To see more coverage of Art Basel Hong Kong, head over to Juxtapoz that has two galleries of photos, Part 1 and Part 2. (via Japan Times, See-ming Lee)

 

 



Photography

Miniature Liquid Worlds by Markus Reugels

January 5, 2012

Christopher Jobson

I’m loving these liquid planets by German photographer Markus Reugels. Using large satellite photos as a backdrop and a high speed camera he captures the background’s refraction through water drops. The perfectly timed shots result in these spherical representations of the Earth, Moon and Jupiter. See much more of his work here and also here. Thanks Markus for sharing your work with Colossal!

 

 



Art Design

Geodesic Spheres Made from Recycled Materials by Nick Sayers

August 16, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Graphic designer Nick Sayers has mastered the art of geodesic sphere making, using materials ranging from bicycle wheels to tape measurers. These are some of my favorites including a light made with 270 poker playing cards, one from 120 British rail tickets, and another constructed with 60 slotted plastic Coke bottles. All of his spheres are made without glue or adhesive relying solely on strategically placed cuts in the materials to hold everything together. (via make)

 

 



Art

Scrap Metal Planets

May 15, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Boulder-based artist Mark Castator (FB) creates planets and moons from hundreds of small scrap metal pieces called “droppings” leftover form other sculpting projects. He’s created dozens of these incredible spheroid objects for this series entitled Moons of Jupiter. Most striking to me is that despite being welded steel they appear extremely delicate, as if a strong wind would cause them to collapse. Castator just finished a show at Walker Fine Art in Denver and has work at Winterowd Fine Art in Santa Fe. Photos courtesy Josh Raymond Photography. Thanks Mark for sharing your work with Colossal!

 

 

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