Gravity-defying sculptures are some of the most exciting miracles in the world of art. Seeing a piece of stone or metal almost levitating above the ground is always quite a sight. But what if we tell you that there is a full-scale glass art installation that “breaks” Newton’s law of gravitation and yet is not broken itself? We are talking about the Space Whale, a monumental art project by the Pier Group with Android Jones, Matthew Schultz, and Andy Tibbetts. It now lives in front of City Hall in Reno, Nevada.
The Space Whale – Glass Art Installation Breaking Gravity
The Space Whale is a sculpture of a humpback whale mother and calf made of stained glass. It was originally presented as a creative project at the famous festival Burning Man 2016. Later, the glass art installation appeared in Reno City Plaza, where it can be found today. According to the creators of the monument from the Pier Group, the 50-foot sculpture is a tribute to the relationships with mother nature, time, and space. It is also a fine testament to the family and the cordial bond of love that artists foster in a genuinely aesthetic manner.
To make the whales look like they are floating, the entire sculpture is built around a steel superstructure. In the meantime, the support structure is hidden in the mother’s fin and the calf’s body. Overall, the glass art installation consists of 3,200 glass panels with over 90,000 individual pieces, making the Space Whale a mind-blowingly impressive artwork that deserves special attention. The magic, though, happens when the sun moves through it, which makes the light dance between all those tiny pieces of glass. More than that, you should see the sculpture at night. It is when the mother and the calf start reminding you of a starry night, as they shine in unison with the stars in the sky.
Over the years, the Space Whale has become a symbol of the city. With time, the glass art installation has been damaged. That’s why the Reno City Council voted to buy and repair the artwork in October 2021. The same creators, the Pier Group, replaced the broken panels and upgraded the lightning. The dedicated sculptor of the project, Matt Schultz, said that 90% of all damage inflicted on the sculpture was accidental. Nowadays, it is even more lustrous than in the past, so if you happen to be in Nevada, make sure to visit Reno and look at the Space Whale with your own eyes.