Statisticians Know How to Have Fun

8 Jun

I can’t stress enough how great it is to work with a client who wants art to be a central focus of their space rather than just an afterthought. It’s even better when the space and client call for artwork that’s out of the ordinary. Mathematica Policy Research have proven to be just such a client. We were really impressed with the interior architecture and design of their new NoMa space (courtesy of SKB Architects) and couldn’t wait to deck the walls with some bright color.

The centerpiece of the space is a large stairwell that extends through the several floors of the company’s space. In the center is a massive vertical clear panel with a rainbow of brightly colored dots that runs from floor to ceiling.

Using this awesome design piece as the pivot point, we were able to work with the bright colors and visual effect of the repeating pattern to put in some fantastic pieces of art on the stair landings at each floor. One floor features a grouping of platters by Boris Bally. Using brightly colored recycled road signs, Boris’ platters reflect the playfulness of the colored dots on the stairwell panel while also bringing some dimensionality to the space.

Boris Bally’s “D.P.W. Platters”

Continuing with the theme of echoing the patterns on the stairwell panel is Michael Sirvet’s “12,000”. The title of the piece refers to the number of variously-sized holes meticulously drilled through this 4′ x 8′  aluminum slab.  A piece like this might appear quite subtle on a white-painted wall, but due to the intense red-orange wall paint and lighting, the blazing white aluminum really leaps out at you and offers incredible interplay with the light and color.

Michael Sirvet’s “12,000”

Repeating shapes and color are perfectly embodied in Damian Aquiles’ “Infinito Tiempo, Infinito Color,
Infinito Memoria, Infinito Destino”. Hand-chiseled from oil drums, rusted-out cars and other sources of found painted metal in his native Cuba, this array of walking figures was arranged in a choreographed pattern by the artist before being sent to us here in the States for installation. While the installation of a complex piece like this is far from easy, we think the striking appearance of the work makes it all worth it.

Damian Aquiles’ “Infinito Tiempo, Infinito Color,
Infinito Memoria, Infinito Destino”

Artwork as interesting as this demands an explanation. We often will create and install information plaques alongside artwork in client spaces, but this time we wanted to include a bit more information than a standard plaque but also wanted to avoid a lot of cluttered text that makes for an uncomfortable reading experience in a public space. The solution was to use a high-tech but elegant QR code on the plaque that links directly (via your smartphone’s bar code scanner) to more detailed text about the artist’s work and approach.

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