October 7, 2009, - 2:13 pm
I’m a very artistically-inclined person. In my formerly spare time, I used to make all kinds of crafts and art and have since I was a kid. When I was 12, I had a business selling silk-screened sweatshirts and t-shirts of designs I drew and etched.
But the pop art in today’s Wall Street Journal is really something. And it’s BIG BUCKS. That’s because it’s made with balloons, and balloon twisting takes mastery and skill. It isn’t the kind of stuff the clown made at your birthday as a kid. It’s an interesting article about price wars and lawyers. Who knew that ballooners and ballooning were so cut-throat . . . and so skilled and amazing? I do not, however, agree with the balloonists that their pop art is similar–or even approaches–real art, like that in the European Renaissance.
Over the past decade, many such entertainers stopped clowning around and specialized in balloons. In 1999, the first balloon-twisting convention, called T-Jam, was held in Austin, Texas. The profession has grown since. Up-and-comers like Mr. Fudge can learn the fundamentals from instructional books, Web sites and DVDs such as Don Caldwell’s “Livin’ La Vida Latex.”
Big-name balloon artists such as Mr. Caldwell — aka Buster Balloon — of Garden Grove, Calif., and Larry Moss of Rochester, N.Y., earn as much as $2,500 an hour, compared with about $35 an hour for a typical performer.
Known for his large-scale projects, Mr. Moss has designed a 10-room, life-size haunted house and a 3-D balloon version of Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus,” which he recently entered in an art show in Grand Rapids, Mich.
Wow. Who knew it was such big business? As with all art of any quality (especially trendy pop art), it gets expensive.
Watch the video:
Tags: Airmerican Gothic, balloon, balloon twisters, balloon twisting, ballooning, balloonists, balloons, Don Caldwell, fun, hyperinflation, Livin' La Vida Latex, T-Jam, Wall Street Journal