Busy, Busy, Busy – Some of the Custom Mobiles I’m Currently Working On

I’m sorry about the lack of blog posts lately, I’ve been very busy. Just for now, here are some of the custom mobiles I’m currently working:

Photo of Large Scale Mobile Installations

A custom mobile for a foyer at a private residence in Miami, Florida. A draft of the mobile photoshopped into the two level space:

Image of Custom Hanging Mobile

A three story custom mobile for a light well at a private residence in Chicago:

Image of Large Mobile Sculpture Multi Level

An additional design for the same space:

Render of Large Ceiling Sculptures Multi Level

A custom mobile for the Titus Elementary School in Warrington, PA:

Image of Hanging Moving Sculptures

Image of Large Custom Mobile

Image of Large Custom Mobiles

A custom mobile for a staircase at a private residence in Hong Kong:

Image of Hanging Mobiles

A proposal for a private residence in Miami Beach:

Image of Art Mobiles Miami Beach

Some (not yet made) ideas / mobile designs:

Image of Original Mobiles Design

Image of Fine Art Mobiles

Image of Artist Mobiles

A render of a Calder-style mobile:

Image of Mobile Calder Style

And sometimes all kinds of things break loose:

Image of Large Hanging Mobiles

I’m also working on an additional new large scale project that I’m very excited about and will be posting about soon.

– See more of my custom mobiles or read more of my blog about mobiles

Q&A about Mobiles

A few days ago I received an email from a middle school student who is working on a project for his math class about mobile art. His assignment was to research Alexander Calder or choose a different mobile artist to report on. He came across my website and sent me an email asking if he could send me some questions, which I was more than happy to answer. I just thought I’d post the questions and answers on my blog here as well (which also gives me the opportunity to post some images I’ve come up with but haven’t found a place for anywhere else on my website):

Image of Original Contemporary Art Mobile

Q: Well my first question for you is why do you think my math teacher wanted us to create a mobile and research a mobile artist?

A: My best guess would be because mobiles are fun to make, beautiful to look at, and are a great way to illustrate how math can be applied to real things. They also allow for easy experimenting.

Image of 3D Printed Sculpture Art

Q: Alexander Calder received a degree in mechanical engineering and told people that he was good at math. Do you have a math/science/computer background that helps when you develop your mobile art?

A: I got into applying math to computer animations when I was in middle school. My friend and I used the programming language Pascal. That was in the late 1980s so it was the early days of computer animation. I’m thinking if I stayed with it, I might be working at a film animation company now. In school, I also liked math and physics very much. With what I do now, those experiences probably gave me the ability to quickly determine if the balance structure of a mobile will work or not. Some of the 3d printed mobiles I designed a couple of years ago (in a collaboration with mathematician Henry Segerman) were created by writing scripts in the programming language Python. It was very easy for me to adapt to it because of my earlier experiences with Pascal. I’m also using engineering software more and more often, mostly a program called Rhinoceros, which I think will lead to being able to design rather complex mobiles eventually. And from time to time I’m working on animating 3d models of mobiles based on gravity, air currents and friction. When it comes to developing new designs, what I think matters the most is the ability to think about it in new ways and not just follow the same old patterns.

Image of Large Suspended Custom Sculpture

Q: You did lots of interesting things before you became a mobile artist. Do you think those other jobs helped make you a better artist?

A: I think they helped me to see myself as more than an artist. I see myself just as much as someone who runs a custom fabrication business, which involves all the standard parts of running a business (marketing, drawing up proposals, communicating with clients, inventory, shipping, etc). It’s not just about coming up with mobile designs that are fascinating to me. It’s also very important that the client will be very happy with the end result.

Image of Large Hanging Custom Sculpture

Q: Tell me about a favorite piece of work you created and why it’s one of your favorites.

A: I very much like working on large mobiles. Because of their size, they just have such an amazing visual impact. In general, there are several of my mobiles that I like very much because I think they’re rather original in design:

Image of Contemporary Mobiles Art Sculptures

I also very much liked working on the aforementioned collection of 3d printed mobiles. There was the excitement of experimenting in uncharted territory. To my knowledge, no one else has made fully 3d printed mobiles yet. It also allows for mobile designs that would be difficult to make by hand. When my work schedule allows it, I want to explore it further and see what other new designs are made possible by combining mobiles with 3d printing.

Image of Mirror Mobile with Reflective Walls

Q: Where do you get your ideas for individual pieces of art?

A: Sometimes I look at the space where the mobile will be installed. I look at the shapes and dynamics of the architecture, or the interior decorating style. Ideas usually emerge from that. Some clients who order custom made mobiles have specific ideas for the design, so I just fill in the parts where the client might be feel unsure about a certain design or technical aspect.

Thanks for the great questions, Aidan!

More interviews:
Behind The Virtual Storefront
Meet The Makers
The Edge
FAMO (in Italian)

In Action – Photos of Me Installing Large Custom Mobiles

Two photos of me installing three large custom mobiles at the Fair Oaks Marriott in Fairfax, Virginia:

Image of Marco Mahler

Photo of Marco Mahler

Thank you to Paula Benesch of P3 Design Collective for taking these photos!

3rd Prize Winner – 2015 International Kinetic Art Competition

I just found out that I won 3rd Prize in the 2015 International Kinetic Art Competition! I can’t quite believe it yet. Very exciting! The competition is organized by the Kinetic Art Organization as part of the International Kinetic Art Exhibit and Symposium in Boynton Beach, Florida.

Kinetic Art Sculptures Mobiles Organization

The Kinetic Art Organization was founded in 2001 and its database and archive is now the largest compendium of Kinetic Art and sculptures information, photos and videos in the world. With over 1,000 members in over 60 Countries, they are also the largest kinetic art and sculpture organization in the world.

Here’s my winning entry, three large custom mobiles that I designed, made and installed at the Fair Oaks Marriott in Fairfax, Virginia last fall:

Photo of Large Mobiles

See more photos

Working on What Might Become a Very Large (207ft / 63m) Suspended Kinetic Art Installation

Working on what might become a very large (207ft / 63m long) suspended kinetic art installation at the departure concourse at Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica:

Image of Large Hanging Art Installation

Image of Large Suspended Art Installation

Image of Large Custom Art Sculpture

Renders of the suspension (designed with Rhino):

Image of Large Kinetic Art Sculpture

Image of Large Moving Art Installation

Image of Large Ceiling Art Sculpture

Image of Large Hanging Art Installation

Building the maquette (small scale model):

Image of Large Suspended Art Installation

Image of Large Custom Art Installation

Photo of Large Hanging Moving Art Installation

The design is by Tina Spiro with me and Ervin Nichol and inspired by the Petchary, a bird that migrates between the southeastern United States and Central America (including Jamaica):

Photo of Gray Kingbird also know as Petchary

See more of my custom hanging kinetic art sculptures or read more of my blog about mobiles and suspended kinetic art installation.

© 2015 Marco Mahler