Jason Hackenwerth spoke to this morning’s Creative Louisiana and I must say I am completely enchanted by his work and philosophy. He creates large-scale organic sculptures out of latex balloons. Really.
Best I can remember, (I wasn’t taking notes at first) he said it started in New York City with wearable balloon sculptures that he could walk around in to shock (or maybe he said scare, not sure) and disarm people on the street. He did this to get them out of their heads and out of their thoughts – to shut off that never-ending flow of thoughts going in our brains. Because art can engage people that way and also because artists have to do what’s never been done.
He likes to work in balloons because of their playful form. Play – that idea keeps coming up over and over for me.
Hackenwerth said his work is about movement because we have to stay moving. “Life is the dancer and we are the dance.” He talked about the quiet movement of seaweed in the water and how that movement responds like our inner being. Isn’t that a beautiful image?
A recent installation called Cloud Caves was made of a thin, soft plastic which when hit by blowing air, filled and moved. He said it appeared that it would struggle and fall down but it didn’t. Like the human spirit.
Jason’s latex balloon sculptures can be huge, made of thousands of balloons twisted together. They are amazing, stunning, and awesome. He asked us to imagine what we would be capable of if we all became linked as one.
In closing, he challenged us to stay true to our dream and work hard to make it happen because it will happen. It’s the way the universe works.
Also, he reminded the audience that artists alienate suffering for mankind so they need to be paid for their work. Yes yes yes.
Check back for an image in this post. He’s here in Baton Rouge to create something at the Louisiana Art and Science Musuem. Can’t wait to see what it will be.
Note on 10-10-14: Just spent the morning at the LASM where Jason is finishing the second of the sculptures he did here – see image above. I am even more crazy about his work after seeing it up close and personal.
What kind of art have you encountered lately that knocked your sox off? Share your thoughts in the comment section.
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My goal is to write 30 blog posts in 30 days the month of September.