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International Artists Install Gigantic Inflatable Sculpture at The Navy Yard

October 8, 2018

(Photo above by Conrad Benner, photos below courtesy of Group X)

Freaking LOVE this!

This weekend I got a press release from an “anonymous group of local artists, curators, and organizers,” who are calling themselves Group X, giving me the heads up about this incredible new temporary inflatable installation at the Navy Yard! I was able to run down there quickly Sunday night to get the photo you see above, the rest of the photos below and all the information came from that press release…

Titled Sea Monsters HERE, the installation that’s just popped up at the Navy Yard was created by world-renowned artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas. Curated and organized by Group X and commissioned by the Navy Yard, this project is the first collaborative partnership between Group X and the Navy Yard, but the way their press release reads it seems we should expect more from them in the future.

Installed over the last week and completed just yesterday (Sunday, October 7,) the sculpture is not only the first time Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas have installed on the East Coast of the U.S., but it’s also the largest inflatable tentacle sculpture they’ve ever created and installed anywhere in the world!

Located at the Navy Yard’s Building 611 at the intersection of 13th street and Flagship avenue, Sea Monsters HERE will remain on view from the street (the inside of the building is an active warehouse) for six weeks, starting today through Friday, November 16.

Ironically, or I suppose not, today, October 8, is International Octopus Day!

“The Navy Yard is the perfect place to create a large scale public installation for a number of reasons,” says Group X, the organizers and curators of the project. “We’re aiming to make artwork enjoyable for all. We want to break through the proverbial, and in this case physical, walls that can too often keep people from feeling invited into the arts world… and with this installation, we’re just getting started.”

United Kingdom-based artists Filthy Luker and Pedro Estrellas were recruited by Group X and the Navy Yard for this launch project because of the eye-catching scale and surrealist nature of their work. Their installation employs 20 inflated tentacles ranging from 32 feet to 40 feet to form what can appear to be one or many colorful sea creatures attempting to escape from Building 611. The press release goes on to say, “With their sculpture, Luker and Estrellas attend to the urban environment to offer humor and to make us think. They wish to inspire the onlookers to see their surroundings in a different light.”

“The Navy Yard is one of Philadelphia’s most iconic places, with layers of historic and modern buildings, large-scale warehouses, and maritime assets along the riverfront,” said Jennifer Tran, the Director of Navy Yard Marketing & Communications at PIDC, who own and operate the Navy Yard. “We partnered with Group X to find an artist who would use the Navy Yard as a platform for art to surprise and delight the audience. We are thrilled to unveil this one-of-a-kind and striking public art installation today, which gives visitors and employees another reason to explore the Navy Yard.”

I absolutely love this! And I really can’t remember seeing anything quite like this in Philly before… Be sure to check it yourself: the Navy Yard is free and open to the public day and night (directions and transportation options, including a shuttle, can be found here)!

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