When planes become art

You know when they say flying is an art? Turns out it sometimes is. A couple of artists seem to have the tendency to turn them upside down or see them as a canvas and with that, turn them into an object of art.

  • Paola Pivi for example has turned a Westland Wessex upside down and did the same to a Fiat G91. I got to experience that myself during a visit the the Watou Art Festival back in 2008. The idea behind it was to reshape the order of things. The wanted the people to have an unexpected encounter.

Another one of her installations was a Piper Seneca flipping constantly at New York.

Pivi’s sculpture incorporates an entire six-seat plane that has been specially modified, enabling it to rotate through 360 degrees while held aloft on its wing tips. The artist’s transformation allows this Piper Seneca to be seen in an entirely new way. Airborne but flightless, its steady circular movement is mesmerizing. The shift of context from airport runway to New York City plaza is equally dramatic. It creates the striking and surreal experience of a familiar object seen in an unexpected place doing a very unfamiliar thing. Like a child’s dream come to life, How I Roll is typical of the artist’s bold and playful imagination. – See more at: http://www.publicartfund.org/view/exhibitions/5846_how_i_roll/#sthash.keh3VCqq.dpuf

  • Fiona Banner took it to a higher level with large jets. In an exhibition in 2010 at Tate Modern she used a Harrier and a Jaguar as art installations.

Harrier and Jaguar are “ambiguous objects implying both captured beast and fallen trophy”.  While the Sea Harrier was transformed into a “captive bird”, with feathered markings on its surface similar to the Harrier Hawk, the Jaguar lay belly-up on the floor with posture suggestive of a submissive animal. – See more at: http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2011/03/scrapped-remains-fiona-banners-harrier-jaguar/

You should definitely check out this video on the site of Tate Modern. Fiona talks about her work and how she’s into aviation. http://www.tate.org.uk/context-comment/video/fiona-banner-harrier-and-jaguar

Both jets unfortunately ended up as scrap metal…

Via: http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2011/03/scrapped-remains-fiona-banners-harrier-jaguar/
via: http://www.urbanghostsmedia.com/2011/03/scrapped-remains-fiona-banners-harrier-jaguar/

One of her latest works also involves a part of a plane. Titled ‘Chinook’ she put up two rotors and let them rotate.

Via: http://www.fionabanner.com/works/chinookysp/index.htm?i105
  •  The work of Christian Boltanski is much darker. He had used a crashed DC-9 as an installation. The plane is the Aerolinee Itavia Flight 870 which crashed in Italy in 1980 killing all on board. The reason of the crash was never revealed, but some state it was a terrorist attack or that the plane was shot down by a missile. The installation consists of the crashed plane with 81 lamps above it, 81 mirrors and 81 loudspeakers. All referring to the 81 victims.
Via: http://socks-studio.com/img/blog/airplane-art-ustica-boltanski-02-800×360.jpg
  • Different is the work by Adel Abdessemed . His work ‘like mother, like son’ is not focussing on death, but on how love and destruction are interwoven. This symbolized by two airplanes woven together. Of course not the entire installation is real, but the tail and nose sections are from real planes.
Via: http://cdn5.feeldesain.com/feel/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/feeldesain-adele_Abdessemed-02.jpg
  • Another great project is the ‘boneyard project’. It’s basically a number of artists collaborating with the Pima Air and Space Museum to use planes from the boneyard as a canvas. Make sure to check out these to video’s. One about the project and one about streetartist ROA’s contribution.

Any more pieces of art involving planes? Post them in the comments below!

Sources: 1, 2, 3,


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