Sunday, September 9, 2012

Plastic and Art Installation

Plastic Materials used in Art

I have talked about fabric in few of my past posts and the links are as follows:  and
I gravitate towards man-made materials because their forms are constantly evolving and changing. Besides fabric, plastic is an another man-made material, I like. Plastic is integral to our life, it is everywhere and we do not even notice it. It is a polymer based material and has been in existence for many years. In 1907, Plastic, the mouldable material that could take high temperatures without distortion, was invented to substitute shellac.
Generally, artists and architects embrace new material if it is within their reach and few of them succeed  pushing the boundaries of that specific material to create art. I want to shed some lights on these two notable artists, and their fantastic creations in plastic. Both of them have a different processes and techniques but both of their works have a common thread of "wow".

1 - Plastic art installation- Jacopo Foggini
 An internationally known, Italian artist  Jacopo Foggini, uses methacrylate (a type of plastic which are used in manufacturing epoxy and acrylic sheet) to create beautiful organic sculptures. He heats the methacrylite and molds with his hand creating luminous shapes. The chromatic properties of this plastic behaving like glass and Jacopo's sensitivity to form the plastic into evocative shapes makes the sculptures colorful, reflective, light and mesmerizing.
Foggini Lamp-
Photo Credit - Interni Magazine ans Furio Salone
His functional lamps and tables are sold in high end designers' stores and he has installed numerous pieces in many countries. I really like his installation of a Plasteroid, a planet shaped structure installed for Mutant Architecture and Design exhibition in Milan. The surface is made with a double layer of 200 recycled polycarbonate scales, in a transparent blue color, poured  by hand and stitched together to form a single spherical surface.  The lighting system is composed  of a tungsten halogen 20,000 watt bulb with dimmer, positioned in the central nucleus of the installation, screened by an opaline pyrex structure. According to Jacopo, this Plasteroid  symbolizes a promised land which we can reach through deep meditations and consciousness. Seeing this photo side by side with the real moon does elevate my sensations.

2 - Recycled Plastic Art- Recycled Plastic film- Daniel Canogar
This installation inspired me to look into plastic world. Artist, Daniel Canogar from Madrid, has used celluloid film (thermoplastic) and projected lights through them. The installation, "The Film Trilogy" showcases three multi-media projections in two rooms of the gallery. As shown in the photo, he re purposes ( plastic )VHS tape as well as film strips, installs them in the dark room and projects lights through them. The result is animated moving pictures with sound and colorful lights. Yes, it felt like I am watching dance performance of lights on the wall.
Left photo credit- Neela Shukla - At Montalvo  &  Right photo credit- Daniel Canogar
Daniel Conagar's Installations - photo credit- Neela Shukla
I managed to capture an image of running horse and it is Eadweard Muybridge's 'The Horse in Motion' from 1878. Daniel is exploring  old technologies of cinematic field and frees the hidden energy and power on to gallery walls.  I am not covering an intsallation of CD's, but if you are in bay area, do not miss these three art installations, for more info - Montalvo Gallery.   He has recycled and re-purposed plastic films and created a stunning space, photos do not show that. Check out his work at

Yes, Plastic is very much recyclable material, which includes plastic bags. On the side note, we do not have to pay for plastic bag but have to pay 10 cents for a paper bag. Check out the link for more info on that- 

I will continue my exploration of plastic in the field of architecture, craft and jewelry field. To be Continued...

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