Tag Archive | Reflection

The Spitting Fountains of Chicago

Millennium Park,
All Photos By Gail

Add this to the long list of Very Cool Things I saw on my recent Chicago vacation: Spitting Fountains. Well, the proper name for this distinctive piece of public art is Crown Fountain, located in Millennium Park, but if you were a tourist and you asked a Chicago local to point you in the direction of “The Spitting Fountains,” I bet they would know what you meant.

Opened in July 2004, Crown Fountain is an interactive work of public art and video sculpture designed by Catalan artist Jaume Plensa and executed by Krueck and Sexton Architects.  The fountain is composed of a black granite reflecting pool placed between a pair of glass brick towers.

Crown Fountain Smiling 2

The towers are 50 feet tall and use light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to display digital videos on their inward faces. While some of the videos displayed are of scenery, most attention has focused on its video clips of the faces of local residents. Here’s where the spitting part comes in: a powerful stream of water intermittently cascades down the two towers, spouting through a nozzle on each tower’s front face. Not coincidentally, the nozzle will line up with the mouth of whatever face is being displayed. Clever.

Crown Fountain Spitting

Here’s how you can best plan your photos to get a shot of the spitting. Each face appears on the sculpture for a total of 5 minutes using various parts of individual 80-second videos.  A 40-second section is played at one-third speed forward and backward, running for a total of 4 minutes.  Then, there is a subsequent segment, where the mouth is puckering, that is stretched to 15 seconds. This is followed by a section, in which the water appears to spout from the open mouth, that is stretched to last for 30 seconds.

Crown Fountain Smiling

Finally, there is a smile after the completion of the water spouting from the mouth, that is slowed to extend for 15 seconds. The water operates only from May to October.

Crown Fountain 2

Crown Fountain highlights Plensa’s themes of dualism, light, and water, extending the use of video technology from his prior works. Its use of water is unique among Chicago’s many fountains, in that it promotes physical interaction between with the public, and children especially appear to enjoy frolicing in the fountain’s water.

Crown Fountain Spitting

In fact, if you are on the street passing by and can’t even see the fountain, you can tell when it is spitting because you can hear the loud and delighted squealing of children.

Crown Fountain Smiling 3

Crown Fountain is adjacent to another famous Chicago landmark, Anish Kapoor’s Cloudgate (aka The Bean), so you can see them both next time you visit this beautiful city!

Happy New Year, 2019!

Red Dragon Chinese Lantern
Photo By Gail

Let’s Set Some Things to Right This Year, Shall We?

Red Dragon Chinese Lantern Photographed on Lake Baldwin at the Los Angeles Arboretum.

Pink Thing of The Day: Pink Shrine

Pink Shrine Full
All Photos By Gail

JeongMee Yoon’s photograph, Jeeyoo and Her Pink Things (2007) from The Pink Project (2005 – ongoing) inspired this diorama of Pink Girls Toys, which provides a launching focal point the new exhibit, Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color up now at the Museum at FIT.

Pink Shrine Left
Pink Shrine, Left Side Detail

The idea that pink is for girls and blue is for boys is ubiquitous today. Already conspicuous in the 1950s, when it was part of an ideological push towards gender conformity, the pinkification of girl culture really took off in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Pink Shrine Right Side Detail

I could have stood in front of this breathtaking Shrine to Pinkness forever.

Pink Cars and Doll

Please enjoy a few more detail shots of this Pink-Lover’s Paradise!

Pink Troll Dolls

Hello Kitty Reflection

Elephant and Lion

Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color Will Be on Exhibit Through January 5th, 2019 at The Museum at FIT, Located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street in NYC.

Miscellaneous Pink Things

Modern Art Monday Presents: Donald Judd, Untitled (1970) Stack Sculpture

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970
All Photos By Gail

Donald Judd (1928 – 1994) created his first vertical Stack Sculpture in 1965. Coincidentally, this was just one year before furniture designer Ettore Sottsass designed his Superebox cabinet series. At the time, Sottsass claimed to have been inspired from the radical materials and construction of Parisian fashion, but he late wrote about Judd and even named a table in homage to him.

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970 Detail
Untitled Stack Sculpture (1970) Detail

Sottsass and Judd each explored Minimalism and the effect of objects on their environment, but from strikingly different vantage points

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970 Detail

Judd’s sculptures use the language and materials of serial production and functionalist design, while Sottsass created functional objects with the aspiration of minimalist sculpture.

Donald Judd Untitled Stack 1970

Photographed in The Met Breuer Museum in NYC.

Pink Thing Of The Day: Made in China (Pink) By Sui Jianguo

Made in China Pink
Photos By Gail

Available in a signed, limited edition of 120 pieces, Made in China (Pink) by Chinese artist Sui Jiango was photographed in the Taglialatella Galleries on Tenth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets in the Chelsea Gallery District.

Made in China Pink

Spectrum Specter By Soo Sunny Park

Spectrum Specter
Photo By Gail

American artist Soo Sunny Park continues her exploration of light and its impact on physical space and architectural design with Spectrum Specter — a small scale installation from her Unwoven Light series. Spectrum Specter is a curvaceous structure, suspended in the air and shaped from sections of chain link fencing. Within each open spaces hangs a shape made of iridescent acrylic Plexiglas. Each shape reflects and refracts the natural and artificial lighting, making sure the room and art never appear the same way twice.

Photographed in the Waterfall Mansion on NYC’s Upper East Side.

Soo Sunny Park Installation View

Pink Thing of The Day: John McCracken, Violet Block in Two Parts

Violet Block in Two Parts
All Photos By Gail

OK, so this is technically more like a “Pink-ish Thing,” since it’s called Violet Block in Two Parts. But, pinkish is close enough for me! This sculpture by the late great John McCracken is currently on display in the new home of the Whitney Museum, which I’ve managed to visit twice already since it opened in late April of this year.

Violet Block in Two Parts

The grid-like pattern you see on the sculpture’s surface in this photo is a reflection of the gallery’s ceiling.