Olaf Breuning brings SciArt to the public realm in his ecologically conscious projects. As a conceptual artist he uses photography, installation, sculpture, film, and drawing to playfully interrupt everyday practices within the natural terrain. His interventions into the public spaces are playful, showcasing that humor is a remarkable tactic to bring awareness to the landscape. His installation, The Gardeners (2008), transformed everyday garden tools into lively characters with the placement of large eyes. Most recently, Breuning painted ski slopes in the village of Gstaad, Switzerland with food coloring, changing the vast expanse of white snow into a vivid watercolor. And what did he use for a brush? Sleds, of course!
By Megan Guerber
You don’t have to go to a museum to see art—the City of New York is filled with fun and unexpected work in public spaces. Take Olaf Breuning’s Clouds, for example. These whimsical structures are sure to change your opinion of cloudy days.
Public Art Fund, a New York-based public art organization, has brought us such dynamic projects as Kate Gilmore’s Walk the Walk and Tatzu Nishi’s Discovering Columbus. Now they present Olaf Breuning’s Clouds, which animates the skyline of the Central Park’s southeast entrance until August 24, 2014.
As Shakespeare once wrote, “All the world’s a stage,” and few stages are as vibrant as the streets of New York City. Breuning celebrates the imagination of the city’s inhabitants with his playful public art installation. The bright blue clouds are reminiscent of youthful drawings, cartoons, and school theater sets.
Despite being cut from aluminum, the clouds retain the hand of the artist and appear more like drawings than sculpture. They stand vibrantly against the park’s bare trees, placed like stickers in a book. Below them, pedestrians become actors on this public stage.
The clunky, child-like structures supporting the clouds are celebrated rather than hidden. When viewed from behind, they mimic the vertical construction of the urban landscape. From the front, the broad, round cloud forms emulate the organic shapes of the foliage within Central Park.
Looking for more public art in New York? The Public Art Funds also brings us Katherine Grosse’s Just Two of Us. This colorful installation is best described as an eruption of three-dimensional paintings. It is nestled between the trees of MetroTech Center in Downtown Brooklyn until September 14, 2014.