Black Balloons

art & illustration

The playful and whimsical balloon gets a serious shift in tone by the artist Tadao Cern. Adopting a stark black colour for what was once a symbol for childish innocence, suddenly the elusive object becomes the central focus for a conceptual exercise in geometry and equilibrium.

It is a true twist of events when an old-school minimalist convention based on heaviness and solidity of elements is taken in a completely new direction by a visual combination entirely based on balloons tied in geometrical patterns. As the duality of heaviness and lightness is explored by Cern’s bid of opposing two gasses: helium and sulphur hexafluoride — each one vying for opposite directions and creating the fragile stability.

Fundamentally, each balloon combination can go from absolute tranquillity to utter chaos at the swift wave of a hand or a slam of a gallery’s door. The potential interaction from the visitors brings this conceptual exercise to new heights, as the audience partakes the agency of altering the artist’s work with ease. An intriguing variation of the strict era of minimalist artists celebrating absolute control and austerity.

The artist plays with surprising amount of visual variations, taking a simple idea and veering into a surprising amount of variety from it. Minimalism as breakable as a kite in a windy day and resolute as a rock.

Photography by Tadao Cern.

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