Huge 18m balloon structure on display in The Dubai Mall

Experimental artist assembled the massive structure over eight days

There’s a new exhibition blowing up in The Dubai Mall transforming the humble balloon into a work of spectacular art.

World renowned experimental artist Jason Hackenwerth, from New York, is in town and has put together a ginormous installation – made entirely of balloons.

The 18m tall and 6m wide installation, called Skyward, took eight days in total to blow up and assemble, with a team of assistants on hand to attend to help to inflate.

So far, Hackenwerth’s works have been exhibited in the Solomon R Guggenheim New York, The Victoria and Albert Museum London and the National Museum Scotland, and now his balloon modelling skills will be showcased for us as we shop.

The balloon-master received his MFA in painting from Savannah College of Art and Design and Bachelor of Fine Art in Printmaking from Webster University, St. Louis, Missouri, and is a 2011 Pollock-Krasner Foundation Inc. grant recipient.

Hackenworth, who currently lives and works in St. Petersburg, told Time Out Dubai, “I hope that people will be awestruck.

“My intention is to surprise people so profoundly that there is a moment of reverence as they fully comprehend the massive scale of the delicate work.

“Balloons are very accessible. Everyone has an experience with them. So even those who may not be interested in art can appreciate the works. In this way the work become a gateway for art.”

Hackenworth says he is very impressed with the Dubai art scene in general.

He added, “My crew and I went to the warehouse arts festival at Alserkal Avenue recently and it was quite diverse and lively. I was reminded of the Miami Design District back when it was just taking off.”
Free. Until Feb 28. The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, thedubaimall.com, www.jasonhackenwerth.com.

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