It Doesn’t Rain from Light Bulbs’ Cloud

Light bulbs don’t seem like an inspiration for making art but two Canadian artists Wayne Garrett and Caitlind Brown used a charm of bulbs and created an illuminating permanent installation.

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Cloud Ceiling, as they called the installation, is constructed from hand-bent steel, electronics, motion sensors, reflective mylar, LEDs and 15,000 re-appropriated incandescent light bulbs. This design was created especially for Progress Bar in Chicago, located in heart of Boystown, considered to be the third largest gay community in the United States.

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Mentioned motion sensors embedded in the ceiling cause light bulbs’ surface to illuminate as the people move around the space. Those sensors are supposed to track people moving inside the bar and that moving activate LEDs lights to turn on in response.  They monitor not only people’s progress through the space but they also map the social “electricity” between people, customers.

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A second miniature Cloud was created in the far room of Progress Bar adding a cohesive vision of the space.

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This Cloud installation gives a unique style to the Progress Bar and it makes it visible from the outside as well. Many people walking by just stop and look through the windows. It really does look awesome!

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Silvia M.//SMC Editor

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Credits : inhabitat.com, incandescentcloud.com, thisiscolossal.com, googleimages

Chinese controversial artist and his metal art

Ai Weiwei, a Chinese contemporary artist, born in Beijing, China is active in sculpture, installation, architecture, photography, film but also in social, political and cultural criticism. He collaborated with Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron as the artistic consultant on the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Olympics.

Inspiration in metal

refraction-ai-weiwei-alcatraz-2Ai Weiwei created a massive metal bird wing. He wanted to represent freedom but the installation is immobilized like a trapped animal inside one of America’s most notorious prisons – Alcatraz. It can be only seen from above. Visitors are placed as an authority but they still don’t have full access to the installation.

It weights more than five tons and the whole sculpture is earthbound. The wings are made from reflective solar cookers and kettles used in Tibet. His artwork is kind of a word play, merging together the material quality – metal and concept of freedom.

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Inspiration in bicycles

forever-bicycles-ai-wei-wei2Cycling is one of the most common forms of transportation in China. However, Ai Weiwei removed their primary function and made the static. There isn’t anymore freedom associated with cycling and bicycles are piled together forming a labyrinth that keeps them immobile and useless. The visitor can stand below the installation and observe details from new angle and gain a new perspective on the bicycles.

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Silvia M.//SMC Editor

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Credits and pictures : wikipedia.com, inhabitat.com, aiweiwei.com, googleimages

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Massive Hyper-Realist Aluminum Sculpture Worth Millions

The 59-year-old contemporary artist, Jeff Koons, turns classic and ordinary objects into monumental stature and high-production finish. By appropriation and recontextualization recognizable objects, Koons challenges the viewer to think them as artistic objects, blurring the boundaries between popular taste and high art.

Koons is the most expensive living artist with a life’s work believed to worth close to $1billion. A comprehensive exhibition of his life’s work is taking over the Whitney Museum of American Art at its Madison Avenue location before moving downtown to a Renzo Piano-designed building in 2015.

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The exhibit is not just a chronological retrospective. It also includes new works by Koons, including “Play-Doh” (1994–2014), a massive hyper-realist aluminum sculpture meant to resemble a pile of its namesake children’s toy, allegedly took twenty years to execute to Koons’s specifications.
play1Back in 1994, Mr. Koons set out to replicate a colorful mound of Play-Doh configured by his son, Ludwig. It was to have been fashioned from polyethylene, “But as I started putting more and more detail in the piece, I realized I needed to make it out of aluminum to get a more hyper-realistic surface,” Mr. Koons said, as if to justify the sculpture’s long gestation.

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His choice of colors for “Play-Doh” was equally exacting. Mr. Koons ran off, coming back with a tray with small containers of vintage, dried-up Play-Doh, dating to 1994. “Over the years, the company has changed its colors,” Mr. Koons explained, asked why he had saved the samples and original containers. “They are easy to refresh with a little water.” Tiny mounds of bright yellow, blue, purple, red and green will be matched and spray-painted on the cast-aluminum parts at a company in Connecticut that specializes in decorative painting of hot rods and vintage cars. Then they will be assembled into a gigantic mound.

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The installation process was another hurdle.  The crew made a video of a small-scale model of “Play-Doh” to chart exactly how it will move through the museum lobby, into the elevator and up, where it will join other works from the “Celebration” series.

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Shanghai Metal Corporation is specialized in aluminum metal products, in varying forms and sizes. Aluminum coils, strips, tape, foil, plates can be used in a number of applications. For our full list of products that we offer check out our website here. Be sure to join the conversation in our LinkedIn group, Facebook, and Twitter. Try also our new mobile application by scanning the QR code below.

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Source: wnyc.org, mcachicago.org, dailymail.co.uk. nytimes.com, businessinsider.com

Pictures: wnyc.org, vulture.com

Camilla G.//SMC Editor