We’ve covered the esteemed brand of Audemars Piguet time and again here – but now we bring you something truly unusual. Audemars Piguet—Associate Partner of Art Basel – has announced a partnership with the Peabody Essex Museum that results in an incredible on-the-beach art exhibit in Miami during Art Basel. The exhibit: Theo Jansen’s Strandbeests.
Theo Jansen is a 66-year-old “artist” who was born in the Netherlands and studied physics at Delft University of Technology. He started painting when he was about 27 years old and even developed a painting machine. Over the years he has built many machines and has had exhibitions around the world – but it is his Strandbeests that are of famed acclaim.
The Strandbeests are larger than life wind-powered creatures that are absolutely mesmerizing. The exhibition is the first preview in a major US tour of the Strandbeests. From December 4-7, the unique beasts (with one that is 42 feet long) will inhabit a prominent stretch of Miami Beach—where visitors can view them and meet Jansen.
These wind-powered beach animals are a cross between art and science. Constructed predominantly of yellow PVC tubes (which Jansen refers to as “artistic protein”_ the structures respond to the environment by storing wind power and hanged direction when they sense water or oncoming storms. Jansen ahs spent 25 years working on this alternate life-form project with their complex mechanical motions and technical mastery. This naturally makes the artist /scientist and his creatures a perfect fit for Audemars Piguet.
“Jansen’s pursuit of technical perfection and ability to break the boundaries between art and engineering captures the constant dialogue existing between both fields, and this constant interaction lies at the heart of Audemars Piguet’s spirit of independence,” says Olivier Audemars, board member of Audemars Piguet and great grandson of hone of the brand’s founders.
Also on display will be an exhibit of Lena Herzog’s photographs of the Strandbeests, and – of course – Audemars Piguet watches will be on exhibition in the Collectors’ Lounge with the Audemars Piguet stand that has been designed by Mathieu Lehanneur.
Says Jansen of his animals and his passion in creating them: “Since 1990 I have been occupied creating new forms of life. … I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind.”
Watching the beasts move – like a dance on sand – is incredible. These skeletons come to life and survive the elements such as water and storms. You have to see them to believe them. In the meantime, view the video below – really – do it! You won’t be sorry.