|Breezy and Delightful
by Paul Tzanetopoulos
|1st Street at Long Beach Boulevard in the City of Long Beach, California|
|Six (6) 14' pylons, each with two (2) 4' diameter counter-rotating disks|
|Baked enamel on metal|
|Los Angeles County Transportation Commission Art For Rail Transit Program, MetroRail Blue Line|
|Artist’s Narrative, below|
These are twelve wind-driven, kinetic counter-rotating disks, mounted on six fourteen-foot metal pylons. Each disk exhibits a unique, colorful, baked porcelain decorative element. These elements are samples of the ethnic diversity of the community, illustrated by each ethnicity's graphic fabric pattern. Being wind-driven, the disks rotate and are perforated so that light and color pass through each disk, the images constantly changing, flickering, and entertaining passers-by.
I have long been fascinated by the seemingly infinite variety of patterns in cultural artifacts, often evident in textile designs. In this project, Breezy and Delightful, the focus is on designs which reflect the unique cultural heritage of the many groups that live and work in Long Beach. The title "Breezy and Delightful" was captured from the City of Long Beach's early publicity, illustrating its position on the California coast, its pleasant weather and cheerful attitude. I thought this statement reflected both the City and the site of this station (1st Street at Long Beach Boulevard). I have often visited this station and it has been a beautiful, breezy and pleasant day.
The many designs I employed ranged from patterns taken from Cambodian shadow puppets to modern graphic geometry which were then transformed into rotating, wind-driven kinetic sculptures and mounted in the pylons on the station platform. Each sculpture consists of a pair of counter-rotating disks which are set in motion by the daily sea breeze.
These disks have been colorfully enameled with both patterns of fabrics and symbolic elements relating to Long Beach's history, specifically highlighting its relationship to modes of transportation. Also, each disk has been perforated with these graphic patterns to allow them to spin in a breeze as well as contribute to the play of light through the disks against the sky, and shadow play on the Metro platform. These colorful disks are meant to rotate in the wind and constantly change, entertaining both passengers and passersby.
The cut-out graphic patterns were merged from an ongoing body of my work based on Marcel Duchamp's Roto Series which employs graphic elements and illusions of 3-dimensional and conceptual structures which were designed to rotate in order to illustrate these concepts. This ongoing series is a large-scale, interactive installation for which a graphic CD reader was developed in order to musically describe Duchamp's series, as well as other artists’ and my own graphics.
The wind-driven disks I designed for the station are the unification of my work and affection for large-scale patterns and ethnic textiles.