Thursday, February 22, 2007

Art in motion

My favorite artist is Arthur Ganson. I saw him once in person when he visited RPI with a selection of his works. The exhibition and accompanying lecture was so popular, it had to be broadcast via TV to other lecture halls.

His kinetic sculptures are a mix of unusual objects, hand made mechanisms, and incredibly fine tuning. With his art he's made wishbones walk, hands write, chairs explode, chairs bounce on cats, and many many more unusual items. Even the gears in his machines are usually hand made. What always amazes me is the fluidity of his creations, which make something like a bone or a chair seem alive.

While my other favorite artists need to be seen to be believed, this one needs to be seen in motion. Thankfully, a lot of videos are available on his site.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Shadow Art

My 2nd favorite artist is Larry Kagen. He's a professor at RPI, who's studio was down the hall from mine, and would often sit in on my classes project reviews.

His art can usually be found hanging around campus. Without a spotlight, it looks like a three-dimensional scribble made of steel. However, when a carefully placed spotlight illuminates it, the shadow it casts is amazing. The most random jumble can reveal a flawless shadow of the Statue of Liberty, or a book, or a message. I'm always impressed by the way he can even vary the thickness of the shadow lines, using only 1 gage of wire.

Photos of his work are pretty impressive, but in person, it's just mind-boggeling.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

*This post was not photoshopped*

My 3rd favorite artist is Robert Lazzarini, who makes real-life replicas of objects, as if they have been distorted by a fun-house mirror (or it's more modern equivalent, photoshop).
Unfortunately, his work translates very poorly to print - it needs to be seen to be believed. Everything from skulls, to phone booths, to guns, all built with authentic materials, inside and out.

I was fortunate enough to get a tour of his studio when I interviewed for a job early last year. He was getting ready to build a particularly large and complex piece, and needed a staff engineer.

For more details on his work, here's a 5-part interview on his vision and process.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Amazing folding chair!

To continue what seems to be a theme of cool home furnishings in this blog, I humbly submit the Amazing Accordion Sofa. Seems to be Chinese in origin, and reminds me of my early work in cardboard furniture. What impresses me most is when a guy from the crowd squeezes it to see how sturdy it is, and the material doesn't give. That, and it looks like a magicians card trick when it's in motion.
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