VIDEO: Inigo Manglano-Ovalle | The Armory Show

Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica and Thomas Schulte Gallery, Berlin: The Armory Show 2014

Storm Prototype II by Inigo Manglano-Ovalle

More and more artists are engaging science in their creative process. From Kysa Johnson, who employs complex physics references in her drawings, paintings and installations to Marc Quinn, who uses cutting edge 3-D scanning and printing technology, to Inigo Manglano-Ovalle and his scientific collaborations with the US Air Force, NASA and the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Illinois.

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle at Christopher Grimes Gallery booth at The Armory Show. Photograph © Kristina Nazarevskaia

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle at Christopher Grimes Gallery booth at The Armory Show. Photograph © Kristina Nazarevskaia

The highly reflective and visually fluid silver metallic clouds, floating in the Christopher Grimes Gallery and Galerie Thomas Schulte booth at The Armory Show drew quite a crowd this week. The shape of each sculpture is determined by the raw data collected by the scientists and interpreted by Manglano-Ovalle.

As a result they appear both abstract and completely recognizable. Each sculpture – a capture of a moment in time when those molecules arranged themselves in that specific form – a challenge to the very nature of constant change and transformation. If you look closely at the surface of the cloud, you will notice that its made up of overlapping foil rectangles. At first it seems a reference to the traditional gold and silver leafing techniques, used most often in religious painting and decorative embellishments. In fact these rectangles reference the precise field of data scientists used to define the cloud’s surface. In collaboration with the architect Douglas Garofalo, the artist adopted this information to build a structure and form of the the sculptures. These are then turned into small models by computerized, industrial milling machines. The larger works are created from these models.

Watch our exclusive interview with Christopher Grimes to learn how these “aluminum alloy foil on fiberglass” clouds are connected to the concepts of borders, migration and climate change. You will also find out how Constantin Brancusi‘s famous Modernist sculpture Bird in Space, 1923 “re-enters contemporary culture” in the latest sculpture and photograph installation by Inigo Manglano-Ovalle.

Interview transcript on page 2

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