New inflatable art exhibit is 'blowing up' at Benton Museum

The William Benton Museum of Art debuted a new exhibit titled "Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary art" on Thursday, June 2, 2016. (Megan Krementowski/The Daily Campus)

The William Benton Museum of Art debuted its new exhibit Blow Up: Inflatable Contemporary art on June 2 with a two-hour reception. 

The exhibit will be on display until Sunday, July 31 and includes “21 works that explore the medium of inflatable art with imagery that is figurative, conceptual and abstract,” according to the event’s press release. 

Museumgoer and University of Connecticut Pharmacy Librarian Sharon Giovenale said she thinks the exhibit is both lovely and creative.

“It is not at all what I would expect,” Giovenale said. She explained that her favorite artwork at the exhibit is a 10-feet-tall piece titled “White Elephant I” by Billie Grace Lynn. It was inspired by the early history of white elephants and the ancient belief that the animals were sacred, according to Lynn’s description. It is composed of rip stop nylon, chiffon and an electric fan.

Among some of the other artists featured in the exhibit are New York artists Lee Boroson, Patrick Flibotte, Lewis deSoto and Momoyo Torimitsu. Blow Up also includes a video of inflatable works by Christo and Jeanne-Claude and Joshua Allen Harris.

Blow Up aims to “challenge (our) everyday, feet-on-the-ground perspective” and “engages (our) fascination with inflatables and investigates the imaginative ways that artists use air as a tool for creating movable sculpture,” according to the Benton’s brochure at the opening event. 

A 10-feet-tall piece titled “White Elephant I” by Billie Grace Lynn. It is composed of rip stop nylon, chiffon and an electric fan. (Megan Krementowski/The Daily Campus)

The pieces at Blow Up range from the simple elephant to twin, oversized, bright pink rabbits titled “Somehow I Don’t Feel Comfortable.” The inflatables were intentionally oversized to create the feeling alluded to in the title and were originally created for a gallery show in Paris, according to creator Momoyo Torimitsu’s description. 
 
The exhibit was organized by Carrie Lederer, the curator of exhibitions at Bedford Gallery, Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California and made possible by a grant from The National Endowment for the Arts.

The Benton Museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 until 4:30 p.m. 


Megan Krementowski is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at megan.krementowski@uconn.edu.