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Chihuly: The Nature of Glass [Jan. 17th, 2009|06:25 pm]
On Tuesday, I went to the Desert Botanical Gardens with Greg's mom. They have a show by Dale Chihuly called "The Nature of Glass." It's... a bunch of installation pieces, I guess, worked in with all the cacti. I don't know how to describe it other than to say it was very Chihuly-esque.

It was amazing. These pictures really don't do it justice. We went in the evening, and that was really the best time to go. We got to see things both in daylight and lighted after it got dark, and there was one piece (the big yellow pillar) that we saw just as it was lit up by the setting sun, and it was absolutely perfect.

I think Chihuly must have spent a lot of time wandering through the gardens and thinking about what he could put where. There were a number of times when the sculpture actually made me pay more attention to nearby plants. And it sounds totally cheesy, but a lot of the pieces really did "invite you to take a closer look". I think with someone whose work is as distinctive as Chihuly's, there can be a temptation to dismiss him as gimmicky, but he really is a very good artist. He also does work that's much more impressive in person than it is in photos or video. A lot of the pieces looked totally different from different angles, and moving past them was an important part of the experience. There's a reason dude is famous.

Anyway, if you get a chance to go see this show, you absolutely should. It's fantastic in all senses of the word.

Here's my flickr set:


[User Picture]From: thedragonweaver
2009-01-18 02:41 am (UTC)
The Chihuly installation at Gonzaga was always a lovely one to sit underneath.

He has a public permanent installation in Tacoma; here's a panorama and the start of several individual pieces. (They're behind glass, hence some of the extra reflections.)
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[User Picture]From: srotu27
2009-01-19 07:35 pm (UTC)
Love the Bridge of Glass! My #1 reason that Tacoma is cool.
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[User Picture]From: backrubbear
2009-01-18 03:41 am (UTC)
I loved the gardens. It was my favorite part of my Phoenix visit several years ago.
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[User Picture]From: drdeleto
2009-01-18 03:53 am (UTC)
Ia Ia! Chihuly fatgn!
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[User Picture]From: derbiser
2009-01-18 04:51 am (UTC)

My friend James has pictures of a Chihuly exhibit in Israel.
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From: detailbear
2009-01-18 06:02 pm (UTC)
Some of the lighting is truly magical. And I agree that he must have spent a long time contemplating the forms. Some of them echo the form of the plants themselves; some seem like the exuberant flowers of the desert; some seem like alien lifeforms that have found the nearest thing to their homeworld. Thank you.

6098 is my new desktop. The 'rocks in the water' really spoke to me.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-01-19 02:44 am (UTC)
some seem like alien lifeforms that have found the nearest thing to their homeworld

Well said! Glad you enjoyed them. :)

Yeah, the water piece was really neat. When we came across it, my first thought was "icebergs!" (And the light was even better than that picture shows...)
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2009-01-18 06:40 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your picture postcards. I loved the sly, ironic, humor of the boats in dry river beds. Because that's part of the deserts charm, it seems eternal it's dryness, but then there are the most amazing colors that arise out of nowhere. (Not to mention floods.) The glass bits kind of made it seem like the bottom of the ocean, reminding me that we live our days in an ocean of air.
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2009-01-19 02:46 am (UTC)
Oh my god, I didn't even pick up on that. That's awesome! Good insight!
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