What is art?
That question is at the core of many artistic movements. Creators have striven to create realistic depictions of life, to celebrate the divine origins of humanity, to express feelings at a key moment or to capture an emotion in a visual or aural medium.
According to Hungry Castle, art was another thing: giant inflatable heads. And they worked to bring their art to life, with help from Kickstarter.
Hungry Castle was the name chosen by a pair of artists, Kill Cooper and Dave Glass, as the name of their new studio in 2013. As a lark, they proposed creating a giant, inflatable Lionel Richie head to the crowdfunders at Kickstarter. To their surprise, they received more than enough money to produce it.
Produce it they did. The Lionel Richie head debuted at Bestival in the UK in 2013. From there, they’ve created giant inflatable sculptures of Nicolas Cage’s head in a cage, Big Bird, hot dogs with Snoop Dogg’s face, and a giant rainbow bounce house for adults with Kanye West’s face on it. They also brought a handful of other people onto the team and renamed themselves to the far more pedestrian “Cool Shit”.
As Hungry Castle, though, they created their two most iconic vinyl sculptures. Lionel Richie and…. Laser Cat.
Laser Cat was, at the time of its creation, fairly unusual in the art world, although it has been mimicked repeatedly. It was an inflatable cat head, large enough to contain the inflatable Lionel Richie head. It didn’t hold Lionel Richie’s head, though; it held lasers.
Hungry Castle sought art submissions from throughout the world and set a large screen across from the Laser Cat installation. After the sun set, Laser Cat would shift from a mildly entertaining display to a broadcaster of international art. According to Artnet, more than 15,000 submissions were received, allowing Laser Cat to broadcast through the night accompanied by a series of songs – mostly dance tracks. The cat traveled across multiple continents before being retired less than a full year after its initial construction in 2014.
For the record, I want this thing to be reconstructed and displayed for next year’s New Year’s Eve party.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite dance song?