Los Trompos, or the Spinning Tops, and Look Up! Look In. are two exciting free installations taking over the Kimmel Center plaza!
Los Trompos, designed by Esrawe + Cadena, first commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, draws its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a popular toy with children around the world. The project features 10 three-dimensional, larger than life tops in a variety of colors and shapes, on display throughout Commonwealth Plaza from August 19 - November 17. The brightly hued surfaces of each top are created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans. By working together, guests may spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures. “Only through this interaction and collaboration will the work come to life and be complete.” – Ignacio Cadena, Co-Designer of Los Trompos
The Commonwealth Plaza will also feature a new installation by Philadelphia-based artist Karina Puente titled, Look up! Look In. This will be an aerial companion piece in the Plaza that will complement Los Trompos.
For this new work, 53 hand-cut “Papel Picado” that are 5-feet wide and range in length from 6-feet to 12-feet long will be suspended in the air. Translated as “perforated paper” or “pecked paper,” papel picado is a decorative craft made by cutting or chiseling elaborate designs into sheets of paper. Papel Picado arose from early Mexico. It was here that the Aztec people first chiseled spirit figures into bark, which later became the art form now known as Papel Picado. San Salvador Huixcolotla is a municipality in the Mexican state of Puebla and is considered the birthplace of Papel Picado. To some people they represent the element of air for the way they move.
Artist Karina Puente says, "my custom, hand cut patterns root my practice in tradition and keep me connected to ancestors. Weekly family calls with my Tias in Santa Barbara always result in an AHA! moment. Through the exhibition, Look Up! Look In, my aim is to articulate the spark of a new idea, arrive at solution-oriented thinking, and fly high during this important cultural moment."
"It’s exciting to pair the work of a local Mexican-American artist in the air with the spinning sculptures from Mexico City of Los Trompos on the ground – giving us all a chance to celebrate and recognize these two traditional crafts and having it all come together to bring our Plaza to life." – Jay Wahl, Producing Artistic Director of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts