Image courtesy of CaiGuoQuiang.com

I recently saw an exhibition at NY's Guggenheim featuring the collective works of an artist by the name of Cai Guo-Qiang. This is a must see for anyone in the NY area. His phenomenal style and use of gunpowder create a truly unique and powerful sensation. His reasoning for using gun powder in his paint, and proceeding to ignite it once complete, is that in order to create we must destroy.

Having grown up during China's Cultural Revolution, Cai's pieces consist of many passionate portrayals of the Eastern cultures and the dramatic impact of its politics. My favorite work is the Fetus Movement II: Project for Extraterrestrials No.9 (above). For this piece, Cai created trenches to outline the symbol in the picture above, and then loaded the trenches with explosives. He then sat in the center strip of land, hooked up a monitor to his heart, hooked up a seismograph to the ground, and then proceeded to ignite the explosives wired around him. Once he was finished, he created the painting using the readings from the monitors to show the close connection of humans with the earth.

He will also be the mastermind behind this years Olympics in China.

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Ali Bajwa
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