Archive: Art in New York
Powerful photos of rainbow exploding over New York

Powerful photos of rainbow exploding over New York

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Photo: Hiro Ihara, courtesy Cai Studio

Introduction

The Transient Rainbow by Cai Guo-Qiang was a minute-long show of color and light and it was held at the East River, just over the southern tip of Roosevelt Island. The event was held by the Museum of Modern Art, New York to commemorate MOMA’s temporary move to Queens. The Transient Rainbow was displayed for the public on June 29, 2002. The Transient Rainbow was one among many special projects by other contemporary artists that had been commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art to celebrate the establishment of the Queens branch.

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Transient Rainbow (explosion event)

Transient Rainbow was a minute-long fireworks installation conceived by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang. Cai designed the rainbow of fireworks to appear just like a regular rainbow. The only difference was that instead of using water and light to create the rainbow, Cai used fire and gunpowder to make his.

Cai’s choice to use gunpowder was not unusual. In China, happy or festive events are often celebrated using firecrackers and fireworks. The rainbow of dazzling fireworks that were used to create the arch of the transient rainbow over the river only lasted several seconds after it was activated but Cai also made an accompanying piece of art so the experience could last forever.

‘Drawing for Transient Rainbow’ (gunpowder on paper)

To create the artwork Drawing for Transient Rainbow, he laid a huge piece of paper on a fireproof floor before carefully placing smaller piles of gunpowder on it. He then covered that paper with another sheet and weighed it down prior to lighting a fuse. As the smoke from the explosion cleared, Cai and his assistants then removed the top piece and extinguished the sparks, so the bottom piece, which contained the resulting art from the explosion, would not burn up. This piece of art is currently held at the Museum of Modern Art.

Cai Guo-Qiang – Drawing for Transient Rainbow, 2003, Gunpowder on two sheets of paper, 454.7 x 405.1 cm (179 x 159 1:2″)
Cai Guo-Qiang – Drawing for Transient Rainbow, 2003, Gunpowder on two sheets of paper, 454.7 x 405.1 cm (179 x 159 1/2″)

About the artist

Cai Guo-Qiang is a contemporary artist from China. He was born in 1957 in Quanzhou during the Chinese cultural revolution. As a young boy, he received an education in the arts before moving to reside permanently in Japan. It was in Japan that he started experimenting with gunpowder to create plastic art at first and then large-scale installations as his career progressed. Over the years, his work has been featured all over the world, most notable of all being the 2008 Beijing Winter Olympic Games.

Photos of the rainbow explosion

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

Cai Guo-Qiang - Transient Rainbow, 2002, opening of MoMA QNS, New York City
Cai Guo-Qiang – Transient Rainbow, 2002, 1,000 3-inch multi-color peony fireworks fitted with computer chips, explosion radius approximately 200m. Realized over the East River, from Manhattan to Queens, 15 seconds explosion event in celebration of the opening of MoMA QNS, New York City

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Roy Lichtenstein’s public murals in the US, Europe and Asia

Roy Lichtenstein’s public murals in the US, Europe and Asia

Roy Lichtenstein - Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Creative Arts Agency Building, California
Roy Lichtenstein – Bauhaus Stairway Mural, 1989, Oil and Magna on canvas, 82.3 x 54.9 m, 324 x 216 in, Creative Arts Agency Building, Beverly Hills, California

Introduction

As far as famous pop artists go, it truly does not get any better than Roy Lichtenstein. His style of comic art use made him one of the most well known and respected pop artists. His work has helped to inspire thousands of artists to hone their craft. His incredible pieces such as the Times Square Mural located in New York’s busiest subway station, as well as his 1986 mural titled Mural with a Blue Brushstroke, are some of his most prominent public murals.

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Homelessness and the sense of having a home

Homelessness and the sense of having a home

I-Hsuen Chen – Still Life Analysis II - The Island 1
I-Hsuen ChenStill Life Analysis II – The Island, Taipei, Taiwan

I-Hsuen Chen is a photographer, artist, and filmmaker that was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan but is now based in Brooklyn, New York. As a photographer, Chen is well known for surveying and photographing foreign objects such as garbage as the main subjects of his photographs. In Still Life Analysis II: The Island, I-Hsuen Chen continues his survey of garbage and unfamiliar objects, which started in his first exhibition titled The Still Life Analysis. In both series, Chen concentrates on collections of typical household objects that a homeless person would have beneath the Civic Boulevard.

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Zhang Huan in suit made from raw meat (video)

Zhang Huan in suit made from raw meat (video)

Zhang Huan - My New York, 2002
Zhang HuanMy New York, 2002, Whitney Biennial, New York

Introduction

Zhang Huan (张洹) is one of China’s best known conceptual and performance artists. In his sculptures and paintings he references the history of his home country. As such, his pieces contain components of political, religious and intellectual messages as well as anonymous portraits and landscapes scenes. Most of his works have mainly been used to promote Chinese culture and to spread a message with the intention of sanitizing the city. In particular, the issue of toilets is very dear to him and it has helped him create one of his most famous performance pieces.

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With full force: 99 wolves crash into a glass wall – Cai Guo-Qiang

With full force: 99 wolves crash into a glass wall – Cai Guo-Qiang

Cai Guo-Qiang, Head On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall
Cai Guo-QiangHead On, 2006, 99 life-sized replicas of wolves and glass wall

Introduction

Berlin, Singapore, New York, Bilbao, and Brisbane are just a few of the locations in the world that have had the pleasure of experiencing Cai Guo-Qiang’s Head On (2006). For his dramatic and impressive installation, Cai who resides in New York chose to fit 99 life-like stuffed wolves into a glass wall. The stuffed wolves appeared to push towards a transparent wall relentlessly crashing with full force against the glass barrier.

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Pioneer in color photography crisscrosses America – Joel Sternfeld

Pioneer in color photography crisscrosses America – Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld - American Prospects, Wet n’ Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980
American Prospects, Wet n’ Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980

Joel Sternfeld’s road trip across America

In 1980, President Reagan was elected president and Joel Sternfeld had embarked on a road trip across America that would allow him to capture life in America as it was in the 1980s. Having been awarded the Guggenheim grant two years earlier in 1978, Joel’s American Prospects was later to become one of the most revolutionary color photographs of the time, when professional photographers only used the black and white format for official or serious pictures. His photographs from the American Prospects series helped to usher in a new breed of modern photographers, which is why Sternfeld has always been characterized as one of the most influential photographer of his generation.

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Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol’s scandalous mural was destroyed within days

Andy Warhol - Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964, Photo Axel Schneider
Thirteen Most Wanted Men No. 11, John Joseph H., Jr., 1964
Photo: Axel Schneider

About ‘Thirteen Most Wanted Men’

Pop provocateur Andy Warhol was never a stranger to controversy. In 1964, as part of a series of commissions for the New York State Pavilion, Warhol was commissioned to work on an installation that would be displayed on the face of the pavilion, which was to serve as one of the main venues of the fair.

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