A breath of fresh air in new gallery

In the abstract art world, Jason Hackenwerth has a blockbuster on his hands. His massive balloon sculptures have been in high demand since 2004, and like an indie rocker with an unexpected hit, he now spends much of his time in airplanes and hotels, en route to his next installation. “I guess it’s because it’s so colorful and unusual,” says Hackenwerth. “Kids love it. Anyone can love it. You don’t need an art degree to appreciate it.”

Hackenwerth readily admits that he’d like to do less of the balloon stuff. But the people want balloons. Balloons pay the bills.

And yet, the 39-year-old makes sure to have a good time with every installation — the assembly of his rubber labyrinths is a performance in itself. Typically, he pumps the music up loud, jumping and dancing as his signature creatures — colorful, wild and complicated — begin to take form. “I just love to rock out. It gets me movin’,” he says. “It helps me to enjoy the process of working in a space day after day.”

‘The Titan and the Fireflies’
The Skybox at 2424 Studios
2424 E. York Ave.

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