Friday, November 26, 2010

Tiny bubbles in the wreath, complete with wishes, adorn Art Institute Lions for the holidays

Last year, the lions at the Art Institute went slightly mod for the holidays, donning wreaths designed by Yves Behar of multi-colored aluminum leaves.  A week before Christmas, as scheduled, the traditional evergreen wreaths returned.

This year, there was one word for the lions' wreaths: plastic.

Drawing their inspiration from traditional cranberry wreaths, U of I professors Bruce and Stephanie Tharp fabricated wreathes out of 2,011 separate cranberry-colored plastic bubbles, each containing a wish from a Chicago area child.  Kara Spak of the Sun-Times has a great story on the wreathes and their creators, including a sampling of wishes, here.
click photos for larger view
The Tharp's design firm, Materious have brought to manufacture such designs as their easy-grip Samurai handled Umbrella,  and their Piggy bank, sold out for the holidays in white, still available in pink - what does that say about us as a society?  Also available is the super-sized Morgan Stanley version with the image of a golden parking meter inscribed on its side.

During the day, the wreathes look a bit hard and synthetic, a big concord-grapey.
They really come into their own at night.
The bubbles actually include solar-power lights to provide a subtle glow, although this is somewhat minimized by the high ambient lighting levels around the museum.
And evergreen is apparently not forever green.  This year, the Tharp wreathes will adorn the lions -  Attitude of Defiance and On the Prowl, or Atti and Pro for short - throughout the holiday season.

No comments: