Project Description

Arts In: Jason Hackenwerth

Jason Hackenwerth is an adventurous abstract sculptor who’s medium is  thousands of latex balloons. His enormous sculptural inventions can fill a towering museum atrium, or mall.

His sculptures are enormous, and the vivid pictures on his website are only an echo of the overwhelming power of experiencing them up close.

Jason Hackenwerth teaches at St. Pete’s Eckerd College and works all over the world. To his knowledge, he’s the only artist right now doing serious, curated art with balloons. He talks about the challenges of validating a new kind of art when you don’t have a community of artists working in that style.

In this conversation with Barbara St. Clair, Jason shares the moving and “terrifying” story of his early experiments, and how his first big installation went so badly wrong.  And how he turned that failure into a new way of working that got him a year-long gig building a sculpture a day on a stage inside FAO Schwarz, and traveling the world creating giant balloon sculptures.

Jason explains his passion for the ephemeral nature of his artistic practice – and his ongoing artistic quest to push this unique medium constantly further. And the challenges of creating artwork that curators expect to look like a birthday party.

Find out more about Jason Hackenwerth’s work at http://www.jasonhackenwerth.com/.

Time-lapse footage of the installation of Pisces at the National Museum of Scotland – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtqPxtSMK9E.

An interview with Jason during the unveiling of Corona at the Abu Dhabi Science Festival – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHv9PMl-Ki8.

The video he mentions of a year of impromptu sculptures created while people watched him at FAO Schwarz – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kg3aE1zytnI

Arts In is produced by Sheila Cowley. Executive Producer, Barbara St. Clair.