Paul McCarthy And Friends- Inflatable Art That Rocked The Last Decade

Paul McCarthy's installation in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/Getty Images

Paul McCarthy’s installation in Hong Kong. Photo courtesy of LAURENT FIEVET/AFP/Getty Images

TamWaiPing Inflatable

Tam Wai Ping

Chad Person

Chad Person

This last decade in art has turned out a ton of larger than life sculptural work, specifically in the realm of inflatable sculpture.  As adults, we never seem to get over the pure bliss of bouncy houses from our childhood, and as art lovers we are drawn to these works, made from thin plastic that are able to tower over us once filled with air.  Artists have used this medium to make shocking and conceptually multilayered statements, such as Paul McCarthy’s “Complex System,” a building-sized pile of poo that made international headlines when it deflated in Hong Kong this past spring, leaving behind quite the brown mess.  Other artists have merged inflatable sculpture with architecture and infused it with an interactive element that takes the classic “bouncy house” into a sophisticated architectural wonderland, such as Alan Parkinson (also known as “Architects of Air”) has done with his Luminaria.  Other artists included below are: David Byrne, Eder Castillo, FriendsWithYou, Florentijn Hoffman, Chad Person, Tam Wai Ping and Geraldo Zamproni.

This Labor Day Weekend, enjoy the following parade of images that reviews some of the most exciting and celebrated inflatable sculptures that have emerged within the past ten years.

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The Luminaria’s Colorful and Inflatable Architecture

Architects of Air1 Architects of Air10

Architects of Air6

Luminaria by Architects of Air is a touring inflatable structure.  The ‘building’ has made stops internationally since 1992.  Visitors to the Luminaria remove their shoes and enter an air lock.  Once through the airlock visitors are free to roam the structure.  The Luminaria is built of inflated PVC.  Sunlight from outside shines through the various colors of PVC creating an otherworldly glow.  The highly saturated colors coupled with the gently curving walls and floor give the Luminaria a subtle biological nature.  Interestingly one visitor describes the structure as ” Somewhere between a womb and a cathedral.”

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