As one of the UK’s largest public art installations to inspire conversations about reuse, renewables and the great British weather, SEE MONSTER, is now open through November 5. The piece centers around a decommissioned oil rig that has been transformed by design studio NEWSUBSTANCE. Free and open to the public, the 35-meter structure is situated at the Tropicana on Weston-super-Mare’s seafront. It can also be seen from the SEE MONSTER viewing platform at the Tropicana, from the seafront and beach.
SEE MONSTER was commissioned as part of UNBOXED: Creativity in the UK and features four publicly accessible levels animated by a 10-meter-high waterfall; a multi-level slide offering an alternative route through the monster, a 6,000-piece kinetic installation forming the monster’s shimmering scales; kinetic wind sculptures; a wild garden of grasses, plants and trees selected to thrive in a seaside micro-climate; artist-designed experiments in sustainable energy generation; a seated Amphitheatre, unrivalled views out to sea from the helideck and, at its base, a broadcast studio.
A related public program presented with the Natural History Museum will allow visitors in engage further in conversations about sustainability, the environment and our shared future.
The unprecedented repurposing achieved by the award-winning Leeds-based NEWSUBSTANCE follows several brave and ambitious projects that blur the lines between art, engineering, and technology, from Spectra, which has become the most-photographed large scale artwork in the history of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival to commissions for the opening ceremonies for Expo 2020 Dubai and the 1st European Games.
Forever Is Now is the first exhibition of its kind in the 4500-year history of the Pyramids of Giza. The exhibition represents a merging of ancient heritage and contemporary art at the oldest and last remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which today survives as a UNESCO world heritage site. The exhibition involves some of the world’s leading experts and institutions, with centuries-worth of experience and knowledge on Egyptology, the archaeological history of the plateau, and the ancient history of the Great Pyramids of Giza & have hosted some of the strongest international and regional art exhibitions.
‘I have always been in awe of this extraordinary ancient civilization that has influenced generations with discoveries in the sciences, arts, math, social justice, cultural development, and innovation,” said Nadine A. Ghaffar, French-Egyptian founder of Art D’Égypte. “It is a civilization that managed to invent and build monuments that we as human beings to this day cannot fathom and have not been able to replicate. Egyptian culture is a gift to humanity, and the purpose of this exhibition is to showcase these treasures in a dialogue with the contemporary on an international scale, to the rest of the world. Ancient Egypt has influenced artists from around the world, and so we bring the world to Egypt and Egypt to the world through art. It’s a privilege to stand at the foot of these monuments that have survived turmoil, wars, and pandemics, and have endured. This exhibition is a token of hope for humanity and a humble tribute to a civilization that stands the test of time.’
Founded by Roger Gastman, Beyond the Streets is an art-driven cultural and educational worldwide movement that celebrates rule breakers. Known for their massive-scale exhibitions, immersive educational experiences, engaging pop-up events, premium publications, and innovative brand partnerships, Beyond the Streets pushes the boundaries of all mediums.
“I’ve been preparing for this my whole life and not at all.” said Gastman. After doing similar Beyond the Streets exhibits in New York before the pandemic that were on a larger scale with hundreds of works and artists, “Now we are able to tell one unique story,” he said. “This is like you went to a museum,” he said of the new gallery space on La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles.
With a five-year lease, they will be doing new shows every six to eight weeks and rotate new merchandise into the gift shop which is a graffiti artists dream with walls of spray paint and skateboards. Also, look for book and zene festivals in the coming months at the L.A. location, and they will also be expanding to Europe and Asia in 2023.
On the opening day, two world-renowned art talents, L.A. based Kenny Scharf and N.Y. based FUTURA2000 (Leonard McGurr), were signing a limited edition print live. “Even though we have been around in the same world, and on the same walls, we have never done anything this collaborative,” said Scharf. As for drawing over the fellow artists work, “I think I did this in a way that celebrates his painting but also has my impact.”
“As Kenny said, we have been friends for a longtime and this opportunity to collaborate is rare among artists,” added McGurr. “From our generation, the biggest one ever was Warhol-Basquiat from 1985. It just feels right to do this for the opening of this space.”