ANIMAL SOUL

THE STORY OF ANIMAL SOUL

Since 2005, Hackenwerth has explored the phenomena of temporality and joy through the transformation of ordinary materials. Currently, his works take the form of large-scale sculptural installations created from common latex balloons. Inspired by science, mythology and the ephemeral nature of his chosen medium, each work is at once mysterious, accessible and fun, complementing and responding to its architectural setting. Hackenwerth developed techniques to connect thousands of balloons into rigid, complex forms that when suspended seem to defy gravity and highlight the material’s qualities of translucency, movement and illumination. Describing these works, the artist states: “I see these sculptures as metaphors for our own lives, common material in a state of grace.” Audiences around the world have connected with their own inner joy through their experience of these massive organic forms.

In 2016, Hackenwerth was invited by a major public arts program to translate his ideas into a more durable sculptural form, the large-scale inflatable constructed from heavy vinyl fabric, for presentation at two public plazas in downtown Los Angeles (2017) and New York City (2018). Asked to create sculptures that competed and contrasted with the scale and palette of modern high-rise buildings, Hackenwerth made a series of drawings for three spectacular, otherworldly creatures. Named Helio (personification of the sun), Nagi (the Sanskrit word for “serpent”) and Cronus (the youngest leader of the Titans in Greek mythology), the drawings were transformed into brightly colored inflatables resembling either prehistoric or futuristic four-legged animals. Each creature of Animal Soul draws the viewer in, around and underneath to touch and explore their strange and beautiful bodies.

For both exhibitions, the artist also created a set of new sculptures from his Megamites series, first commissioned in 2005 for the 51st Venice Biennale. These abstract organic forms, worn by performers, are sculpted from latex balloons, the same material typically used for his temporary large-scale installations. Hackenwerth creates unique designs, each an exotic organism that connects with passersby as they playfully move throughout the venues. 

ANIMAL SOUL ON TOUR

The creatures of Animal Soul and the Megamites series are now hitting the road and are available for presentation at venues around the world. Their ideal habitats are museums and cultural centers, music and arts festivals, art fairs, natural history and science museums, and botanical gardens as well as conference centers, town squares, and parks.

For all booking inquiries, contact Karen Kitchen/Common Ground Arts at karen@wearecga.com.