Creature feature: ‘Animal Soul’ brings balloon oddities to Brookfield

Artist Jason Hackenwerth has taken over Brookfield Place with giant balloon sculptures for “Animal Soul,” a five-day event from July 11 through July 15 featuring performances by professional dancers adorned in surreal, wearable balloon sculptures.
Photos by Milo Hess

Brookfield Place has been invaded this weekend by alien forms and surreal shapes.

Artist Jason Hackenwerth brought his large-scale balloon sculptures to the Battery Park City waterfront for a show he’s calling “Animal Soul” — though you may be hard pressed to identify the creatures he’s created as any animal you might recognize. The three huge inflatable structures outside are abstract forms inspired by nature and mythology.

The exhibition includes more human-scale creations as well — wearable balloon sculptures brought to life by professional dancers — which Hackenwerth calls “Megamites,” perhaps because the strangely shaped, multicolored, elaborate balloon costumes resemble microscopic organisms blown up — so to speak — to a massive scale.

The large inflatable structures with be wobbling in the wind through Sunday, and the dancing Megamites perform in two-hour blocks at noon and 6 pm on Thursday and Friday, and from noon to 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Photo by Milo Hess

Photo by Milo Hess

Photo by Milo Hess

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