Monday, April 03, 2006

Huge sculptures in spectacular places - How?

A member of a council of commerce asked me to design a motif for plastic bags.
The intention was do promote the city.
To visualize the city.
At the same time a major motor way was under construction.
A motor way that passed by this city.
I told the member of the council of commerce that it might be a better idea to erect a huge metal sculpture close to the new motor way.
Sure it would be a much more expensive solution than the plastic bags.

I would never suggest this to the council of commerce.
You yourself can have 15 minutes to tell the council about the idea at the next council meeting, the council of commerce member said.

I told the council about my idea.

artblog-24-ravn-visuel (12k image)artblog-24-draft (5k image)

I had done a photo of the spectacular place where the sculpture was supposed to be erected.
I had made a tiny draft.
I showed a large computer image with the sculpture already erected.
I showed the tiny draft.
The sculpture was 75 feet high.
The diameter of the sculpture tubes were 21".
I told the council that 40,000 people passed by this spectacular place every day.
I told about my inspiration - and what the sculpture might symbolize.
And so on.
And so on.
I talked and talked for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes the chairman of the council said,
We must erect this sculpture.
What's the price?
Usually potential customers do not mention these two sentences i the above order.
Usually the first sentence after a presentation of an idea is "what's the price".

Well, OK.
Peace of cake.

artblog-24-forklift (17k image)I started my forklift.
I found some tubes in my backyard.

artblog-24-studio (15k image)I went to my studio
and welded the sculpture.

artblog-24-lorry (10k image) I brought the sculpture
to the spectacular place
on my lorry.

artblog-24-hh (9k image)I got a brush
and two bottles of paint.
One with red paint
and one with blue.
Here you are!!!

It is not that easy.
Don't believe this.
The council of commerce story is true.
But it is far more complicated and demanding to build a huge metal sculpture.

Huge metal sculptures are expensive.
Therefore it is of the greatest importance that you can present the sculpture in an image exactly as it will be seen in reality.
At the exact spot seen from the exact angle.
You must photograph the spectacular place.
You must do a draft of the sculpture and put it into that photo.
Here a computer is indispensable. This is the key activity in the whole project.
If this part is not done in a proper way there is no project.

First of all you must have permissions from a lot of authorities.
The Road Directorate
The County Council
The Nature Conservancy
The Municipality Council
The Police Etc.

This is of course dependent on in which country you want to built a huge metal sculpture.
In Chicago I once suggested a huge metal sculpture in Lake Michigan and we had to add Civil Aviation authorities and the Military.

It is important to consider building of a huge metal sculpture as an ordinary building project.
It is important to do the ordinary engineer calculations concerning the construction.
Of course the construction must be able to resist any storm and any hurricane.
Of course the construction must be able to resist any fall of rain, snow etc.
Of course the construction must be able to endure temperature fluctuations.
The construction must resist any force of wind.
Sounds obvious.
What is not obvious is that a wind force 1 might be dangerous to the construction - but a wind force 10 would not.
That's because high constructions might rotate at low wind forces.
This rotation can harm and destroy seemingly strong constructions.
Therefore the most important engineer calculation is concerning rotation.
It might be necessary to place some kind of stabilizer equipment in the top of the sculpture.

In the top of the "2H" sculpture there are oil bath stabilizers in both sculptures.

Don't be the entrepreneur yourself.
Sign a contract with one, one company to coordinate and to be responsible for all that has to be done.
Such as calculations, welding, painting, piling, concreting of base, erecting etc.

Don't paint yourself.
A construction like this is painted by an industrial painter, who can handle large subjects and lives up to high quality standards.
Then you can decide how often you want to dismount the sculpture for repaint. 20 years?

Projects right now

artblog-24-yding (3k image)This draft is made for a tiny city called Yding.
42 feet high and a diameter of 21".
The sculpture has been shown exactly as it will be seen in reality.
Presentation ended in a decision to proceed.
One company to coordinate and to be responsible for all that has to be done has been pointed out...


artblog-24-rome-septimus-severus-painting (17k image)First I went for a walk in Forum Romanum.
Then I did the painting Septimus Severus.
Inspired by the Arch of Septimus Severus
erected A.D. 203 in Forum Romanum.
It was granted the World of Art Award 2006.

artblog-24-rome-septimus-severus-draft (14k image)

Then I did this draft.
A draft of relatively thin red and blue tubes
forming a huge sculpture.

artblog-24-rome-septimus-severus (11k image)On a trip back from Napoli to Rome I did this photo through the front screen of the bus
driving on the motor way at the entrance to Rome. Sorry for the toned windows in the bus.
The draft and this photo participated in the competition JUXTAPOSITION 2006 at Artrom Gallery in Rome this February.
The sculpture is called "Entrance to Rome" and is supposed to be erected as a south and a north portal of E45, which is the number of the main motor way in Europe - connecting my home in Denmark in Northern Europe with Colosseum in Rome, Italy - and more of course.
David Genovesi Artrom Gallery, Rome: "Your E45 Entrance to Rome proposal is great. We know some people in high places, and we know some people who know people in high places. We even know some people who know people who know people in high places. We showed the image to a few and asked them for some direction as to who to send the proposal to. We are awaiting their reply. So much money is given away for stupid reasons. I think yours has merit."

Other suggestions

artblog-24-toronto (5k image)artblog-24-dsb-fredericia (5k image)artblog-24-rome-nuvona (5k image)artblog-24-horsens-inlet (6k image)

Above are:
Sailing T in Lake Ontario, Toronto, Canada
Keep up the steam, Fredericia Railroad Station, Fredericia, Denmark
Sky of Navona, Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy
A Figment of the Imagination, Horsens Inlet, Horsens, Denmark

"T" stands of course for Toronto, depending on the direction of the wind the sculpture has an indefinite number of "looks".
Keep up the steam is an oversized train or ferry chimney with the Danish Railroads (DSB) logo on it.
This sculpture participated in the Artrom Gallery competition JUXTAPOSITION 2006, too. It was shown at The Artrom Gallery JUXTAPOSITION 2006 Winners' Exposition.
Sky of Navona is 4 huge tubes forming a roof over Piazza Navona.
I told the story about Tange Brook from the fairy tale "Farmer Jack". A bottle message dropped from the bridge over Tange Brook, which is a few yards from my house, would end up in New York, in Sidney or on The Galapagos Islands.
My sister in law said something like A figment of the Imagination. The sculpture is a few yards from her house.

Show the sculpture exactly as it will be seen in reality.
Calculations must be made by an engineer who knows about wind rotations.
Sign a contract with one, one company to coordinate and to be responsible for all that has to be done.
Make sure an industrial painter is hired. Make the sculpture dismountable.
Have fun.

Photos by:
Martin Ravn, chief photographer at Danish newspaper Horsens Folkeblad, Horsens
Photographer Stephen Downes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Asbjorn Lonvig

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