Andy Warhol’s “Silver Clouds” comes to Artisphere

Inflation is a problem, even in the art world.

And no, I'm not talking about the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden's ill-fated Bubble, more formally known as the Seasonal Inflatable Structure. Plans for that 150-foot-tall, balloon-like architectural novelty, which was supposed to be built — er, blown up — in the center of the donut-shaped museum's outdoor plaza, were permanently punctured in June, when construction and maintenance costs swelled by millions of dollars. But come September 12, fans of puffy art will have something else to get pumped up about.

(Photo by Brandon Pass)

That's when "Silver Clouds" comes to Artisphere. First exhibited by pop artist Andy Warhol in a 1966 exhibition at New York's Leo Castelli Gallery, the installation in Artisphere's Terrace Gallery will consist of 150 floating silver balloons, filled with a mixture of air and helium to resemble a cluster of metallic clouds. Like the Bubble, the inflated artwork doesn't come cheap. Once a week during the show's roughly five-week run, "Silver Clouds" will need to be completely deinstalled and then reinstalled by a crew of professional art handlers, who estimate each reinstallation will take two eight-hour days.

That's where you come in. To help defray the cost of deflating and inflating, Artisphere has initiated a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo. Contributions toward the goal of $10,000 entitle donors to various perks, ranging from a limited-edition metallic postcard for a $25 donation to a private, two-hour viewing of the show for you and 10 of your friends. That last exclusive is only available if you cough up $1,000.


Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Michael O’Sullivan has worked since 1993 at The Washington Post, where he covers art, film and other forms of popular — and unpopular — culture.



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