• The Proposition Gallery is pleased to present “Belly of The Beast” a balloon sculptural installation accompanied by photography by New York artist Jason Hackenwerth.

    In “Belly of The Beast” Hackenwerth has inflated thousands of Neon Magenta balloons with the tendril-like ends pointed out creating the feeling of living, moving, pink kinetic walls. The entire room has been transformed into a space that makes viewers feel they have just entered into the belly of some gigantic creature.

    Hackenwerth creates kinetic installations of strangely organic, latex colonies that bring to mind underwater deep-seascapes. Toxically colored forms made from balloons reminiscent of anemones and urchins, or perhaps something a bit more whimsically wicked and erotic.

    In the center of the space suspended from the ceiling are two six foot long hanging pieces; long and cylindrical with hundreds of intensely green balloon bubbles sticking out much like a pincushion, turning free of one another seemingly representative of such things as the churning cogs of a massive machine, or the Wheels of Dharma (Perhaps borrowing from the columns of Hindu temples in which Hindu priests would circumambulate the columns in prayer). The effect of the coverage of balloons is intensified by the use of multiple black lights causing the neon magenta and intense neon green balloons to literally glow, illuminating the installation with a kind of hazy, hard-to-focus light, reminiscent of the light manipulations of James Turrell. It is intended that viewers be drawn into the narrow space between the protruding pink fingers and the green bubbles, creating movement in and around the work setting these kinetic parts in motion, thereby (effectively) making the viewers the actual food/ energy source that causes the wheels to spin. Weather they know it or not, by their own free will, each visitor allows themselves to be consumed and their energy transferred; they will be digested by the Belly of The Beast.

    “Jason M. Hackenwerth, an Ascending Talent – Knickerbocker”
    “Sculptors tend to hew stone, hammer metal, or mold clay. Mr. Hackenwerth blows, twists, and shapes inflated plastic into configurations as magical and ephemeral as sand castles at the seashore.”
    – New York Sun, Art’s and Letters, Gary Shapiro, June 30, 2005