Both in its long history and in the explosion of visual communication in the modern era there is at times a blurred distinction/fuzzy boundary between, and overlapping of, advertising art, graphic design and fine art. This is exemplified by the “Superstars” of 60s Pop Art such as Warhol and Lichtenstein—who made stylistically refined “high-brow” fine art works derived from banal and ubiquitous consumer goods and the media/tabloid starmaker machinery of celebrity culture i.e; Campbell’s Soup, Marilyn Munroe and low-brow Comic Book Art.
“There are three responses to a piece of design—‘yes,’ ‘no,’ and ‘Wow.’ ‘Wow’ is the one to aim for.”—Milton Glaser
This ongoing series of small but perfectly composed Kinetic Sculpture short films for Phil Price aim to elucidate how and why these works flip the Pop Art script. The videos showcase his rare, stylistically refined, meticulously engineered, and valuable fine art works within a movie trailer length short film format. By flipping the script I mean that his work multi-faceted, it is “high brow” in the sense that people are often engaged and intrigued by the apparent mystery of how these futuristic Kinetic marvels function and the meticulous craft, engineering and standard of finish they display, on the other hand, time and again in public outdoor art exhibitions in New Zealand, Australia and Denmark, his Kinetics are voted favourite by children and adults alike—their broad appeal demonstrates that while his work is stylistically refined it is optimally accessible, or “Pop” in the sense of being popular. They thereby flip or redefine the term “Pop Art” as unique, animated fine art beauties that please people of all ages whether they have a Western fine art education or not.
Rather than Pop Art works these short films however are Fine Design works that demonstrate how graphic design and fine art share many of the same elements, principles, theories, history, practices and languages, and sometimes the same client, patron or benefactor.
The “communication art” of TV or print advertising, has the ultimate objective of the sale of goods and services. These confections of engaging, high-performance, subject, moving images and music aim to create an engaging kinetic visual representation of each of Price’s works, partly for entertainment value, partly to celebrate the beauty of a thing well made. They aim to impart an impression of the ethos of Price’s practice and tell a story of the works alive in their habitat as a 2 and-a-half minute experience both entertaining and memorable.
Outdoor Kinetic sculpture short films:
Tree of Life | Phil Price
Measuring 10 meters high and made of carbon fibre, glass fibre, high temperature epoxy, precision bearings and stainless steel, the large scale, wind-activated kinetic sculpture “Tree of Life” is a major, permanent Public Artwork by Phil Price of Christchurch, New Zealand. Commissioned by Peninsula Link and installed in December 2012 at the Cranbourne Road exit site, in the suburb of Frankston, located in Melbourne, Victoria in Australia… More >>
Opto | Phil Price
The kinetic sculpture “Opto” is by Phil Price of Christchurch, New Zealand. Commissioned by the Moreton Bay Regional Council and installed in 2011 at Redcliffe, QLD, Australia.
As the title suggests, this sculpture is about looking. It is a focal point, while looking at the sculpture you can’t help but see through to the environment beyond. The giant pair of round frames are placed where the land meets the sea and move in response to how the wind is blowing… More>>
Shooting: Phil Price / MagentaDot Brands
Co-director / co-designer / editor: Thomas Rands
Font credits: Caecilia