21 Mei 2010

42 Wonderful Works of Water, Snow and Ice Art

installation projects, the possibilities of water art are virtually endless.

Of course the possibilities of water don’t stop with its liquid form. Some of the most amazing works of water art, architecture and sculpture have been done in snow or ice. From massive sculptures and monumental buildings to detailed ice carvings and delicate snow designs, water has at least as much potential at sub-zero than above-zero temperatures. 

Underwater Sculpture Park Art Installation--

Underwater Sculpture Park Art 
Jason de Caires Taylor has created the world’s first underwater sculpture park with spectacular results. The works are close enough to the surface to be seen by snorklers and visited by divers but left to decay, deform and accumulate living plants as any lost wonder of the sea. These works, though seemingly less accessible on the surface (no pun intended) are in fact huge draws as people travel from around the world to visit them. A video of Jason’s spectacular underwater sculptures can be viewed here

Liquid Sculpture Water Drop Art--

Liquid Sculpture Water Drop Art
The so-called liquid sculptures of Martin Waugh are incredible as individual pieces of photographic art but even more amazing when seen as a series. Their variety in terms of color, composition and approach is remarkable considering the relatively limited scope of his work. He captures water drops and splash formations at perfectly timed moments to create surrealistic and atmospheric finished products that look to be Photoshopped. “By varying the size, speed and position of drops, as well as the color, viscosity, and surface tension, Martin creates a panorama of color, movement and intrigue.” (Source)

Monumental Spiral Jetty Water Art--

Monumental Spiral Jetty Water Art
Constructed in the 1970s, the Spiral Jetty project by Robert Smithson is a cornerstone work in the realm of American land and water art. This coiled monument snakes into the water with a length of 1500 feet and more than wide enough for two vehicles to pass along it. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this project is that it was entirely submerged due to rising water levels shortly after being created and remained underwater for decades. It was only as recently as 2004 that it resurfaced during drought conditions matching those during the time of its original creation – remarkably intact though with a changed color reflecting the accretion of salt. (Source)

Naturally Musical Submarine Sea Organ--

Naturally Musical Submarine Sea Organ
Located at a point of picturesque beauty on the Croatian coast sits the world’s largest organ – played by air moved through finely-tuned pipes by the sea itself. 35 concrete pipes create a variety of sounds that can be heard by passers by in a concert without end. The organ doubles as a set of stairs that provides visitors with a path down to the sea as they listen to the music of nature piped through the hollows below their feet. Click here for a larger diagram of how the organ works. (Source)

Water Flames – Liquid Photoshop Art--

Water Flames - Liquid Photoshop Art
Working with water as a subject does not necessarily mean working with real objects or liquid. Photoshop-savvy and other digital artists have long been fascinated by the forms of water applied in different contexts and these water-as-fire works are no exception. They play with our conventional perceptions and transform our expectations through manipulated imagery and computerized slight-of-hand.

Flowing Pixels – Cartoon Water Art--

Flowing Pixels - Cartoon Water Art
Who says video games and reality can’t mix? These clever street artist took an ordinary pipe on a plain concrete sidewalk and transformed it into a triple-take work of urban art. What starts as a two dimensional pixel stream quickly breaks the barriers and becomes a 3D work of street sculpture. (Source)

Ice and Snow Palace and Festival--

Ice and Snow Palace and Festival
The Chinese are famous for their endless supply of labor so it should come as no surprise that when they put their minds toward making a dazzling frozen city the results are nothing short of spectacular. These ice festivals date back centuries but have been official and organized in recent decades. Filled with music and lights, a festival atmosphere pervades the amazing ice sculpture and architecture all around. (Source)

Creative Snow Sculptures and Structures--

Creative Snow Sculptures and Structures
Ice is not the only form of frozen water, however, that can be converted into astonishingly complex and complete works of art and architecture. These snow sculptures and buildings span the spectrum from structurally ingenious to physically massive and truly show the range of possibilities afforded by snow.

Creative Ice Art and Sculpture--

Creative Ice Art and Sculpture
While snow may be malleable to a large degree and can be the basis of many works of impressive art there is nothing like ice sculpture to test the exacting skill of a master carver or other artistic creator. From finely detailed fairy-tale chariots to detailed and delicate ice insects these works show the broad range of possibilities within the world of ice art.

The Largest Snowman in the World--

The Largest Snowman in the World
No collection of snow art could be considered complete without a nod to the world’s largest snowman – that figure emblematic of snow art and sculpture around the world. 13,000,000 pounds of snow towered an epic 114 tall. Skis, tires and other preposterously large objects were needed to add eyelashes, a mouth and other essential features (in place of the traditional coal-and-carrot combination). (Source)

Animated Japanese Waterfall Picture Show--

Animated Japanese Waterfall Picture Show
The images don’t do justice (hence the video links below) to this incredible work of water art was rolled out for the grand opening of the Canal City shopping center in Fukuoka. Supposedly made on the model of an everything-including American mega-mall this work of art puts it a step above as figures are traced as figures and voids through the presence and absence of water carefully calculate to fall in pre-programmed drops and sheets. (Source and Video)

Water-and-Time-Stopping Strobe Lights--

Water-and-Time-Stopping Strobe Lights
When placed in an unsupported position we all know that water flows – but with strobe lights it can appear to freeze entirely or even reverse direction. These videos capture water drops in a way that outdoes even the best high-speed water photography. Check them out for yourself here and here.

Famous Vortex Water Fountain by Pye--

Famous Vortex Water Fountain by Pye
William Pye has created a vast variety of fountains and water sculptures that fall into every conceivable category but is perhaps best known for his vortexes that appear to defy physical laws and swirl within transparent casings. Steps around these works allow people to view them from all angles. (Source)

Over the River Water Art Installation--

Over the River Water Art Installation
Over the River is a yet-unrealized massive earth-and-water work by the famous large-scale installation artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. The plan and effect: giant pieces of material will be suspended over a moving river creating a play of light, shadow and transparency both for those viewing it from above as well as those traveling on or alongside the river below. As with all of their other works the artists will fund the project themselves with the scale of sketches, drawings and designs done ahead of time. (Source)

Surrounded Islands Historic Art by Christo--

Surrounded Islands Historic Art by 
Though now twenty years past the massive effect of Christo’s famous Surrounded Islands project remains within the art world – in part due to the sheer scale and audacity of the art installation. 6.5 million square feet of material was stretched over seven miles and used to surround a series of uninhabitated islands off the coast of Florida. The resulting work was visible from all around and visually augmented through the use of a shockingly bright pink. (Source)

River Ride and More at the Guggenheim--

River Ride and More at the Guggenheim
In an attempt to add dynamism back to the sometimes-dreary museum experience – and to capture the hearts of a younger audience – Cai Guo-Qiang introduced a real flowing river into the Guggenheim museum as part of a larger-scale series of installations. While other aspects of his work are also impressive there is something fundamentally compelling about transforming the experience of a museum so fundamentally – introducing one of the last things one would expect (an essentially real flowing river) into a place normally typified by order and control. (Source)

Guerilla Activism Swimming Pool Painting--

Guerilla Activism Swimming Pool Painting
What better way to call attention to pressing issues that most people want to hear about than to do it with something so visually stunning it becomes impossible to ignore? This pool bottom is painted with a lifelike city center as viewed from above – surely a dizzying experience for swimmers. And the idea worked: it brought in a huge amount of internet traffic and caused more stir and discussion about a critical issue. (Source)

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