Chris Cole Designs
[New York City, NY] (11/13/2014) Crowds gathered on Madison Avenue to watch as Barneys New York unveiled BAZ DAZZLED - a multi-platform holiday extravaganza including fantastical characters, woodland creatures, ice skaters, snow owls, and candy canes. The collaboration included cinematic duo Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin, and the work of a team of artists including a large kinetic owl made by Chris Cole.
Cole, a kinetic artist based in Bend, Oregon, created a 6½ ft tall, kinetic owl that watches passers by on the street while his bicycle-chain-trimmed beak tells holiday tales. As his head rotates left and right, he ruffles his wings within a massive nest made of branches and industrial remnants. Covered with steel, aluminum, and brass feathers, the owl lets people on the street look into his mechanical heart through a lit portal (salvaged from an old sailboat). A second portal on his side invites inquisitive viewers to see his inner workings.
The collaboration marks an important turning point for the artist. While Cole’s work is displayed internationally, working with Barneys New York is a unique honor.
“I was excited when Barneys asked me to create a snow owl for this event; I’d been considering doing an owl for some time,” explains Cole. Cole’s sculptures are mostly bird and fish-like fantastical machines.
Cole’s kinetic work explores the relationships between the industrial and natural worlds. He is inspired by the intersection of nature and industry. Heavily influenced by the industrial revolution, he uses simple mechanisms to gain deeper understanding of our civilization’s quest for flight, our ceaseless desire for faster and more versatile transportation. Understanding the way things work is a means through which he can explore the concepts of movement and functionality in combination with aesthetics.
WHEN: Baz Dazzled will be on display to the public now through January 1.
WHERE: Barneys New York Flagship, 660 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10065
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