Clouds by Olaf Breuning is an installation at the corner of 60th Street and 5th Avenue, Central Park, NYC. Each year I look for cloud installations to remind me to keep looking up, because the sky is the limit (yes I find cheesy cliches to be funny). Breuning’s Clouds were at last week’s Art Basel in Switzerland, on what looked like a miniature scale, as you can see people about the same height as the clouds. Now everyone knows if your work is showing at Basel you are the cat’s meow, as Basel brings in an outstanding quality of artwork and attracts collectors and museums internationally. Basel is the premier global art show, which brought in 92,000 attendees over a six day show.
I think of the many artists I admire, and the how they incorporate objects representing nature and place them into unpredictable areas. Last year 2013, I was impressed with Skyline Cloud by plan:b arquitectos for their utilitarian purpose and design. Skyline Cloud was commissioned by the Biennial of the America’s, which will be in Denver next year, 2015.
Click Here To Watch on Vimeo.
Skyline Cloud by Plan:b architects Draft Urbanism / Biennial of the Americas 2013 Curators: Paul Andersen / Carson Chan / Gaspar Libedinskyfilmed and directed by Cristobal Palma edited by Francisco Jullian music by Sebastian Vergara © 2013, Estudio Palma
Another notorious cloud installation, in Denver is seen by all travelers coming to Denver via Denver International Airport. Cloudscape by Christopher Lavery has been recognized by the Public Art Network as one of the top sculptures installed in 2010. DIA explains, “The clouds, which are hollow structures made of corrugated metal and cellular plastic, range in size from 16 to 40 feet, and are mounted on a steel base along the western side of outbound Peña Boulevard to greet people arriving in the Mile High City. Lavery took his inspiration for the sculpture from Colorado's vivid sky and sunsets.”
Olaf’s cartoon-like Clouds beg the question why? Why here? Why clouds? Is it a disruption from the norm? Or just for fun? I took a look at the website; publicartfund.org to find out more. Here is what I found:
Olaf Breuning’s installation, Clouds, towers nearly 35 feet above this plaza. Held aloft among the trees of Central Park by rudimentary steel supports, the six bright blue clouds are made of polished and painted aluminum and were cut to match a hand drawing by the artist. Calling to mind the set design of a school play or child-like drawings of the sky, the idea for this work is inspired by one of the artist’s staged photographs. For this earlier work, Breuning used cranes and cherry pickers to raise large blue drawings of clouds high in the air, creating a momentary scene to be captured by the camera.
Interested in situations that bend reality to the whims of his imagination, Breuning’s forays into film, sculpture, drawing, and photography often propel viewers into a world that borders on the surreal and underscores the humor of everyday life. Clouds dramatically transforms the skyline of the park into a playful fictional tableau, inviting us to experience the stage-like quality of a New York City street with a new sense of wonder and possibility.