Artist recreates children's stories with balloons

275x250.jpg An artist has used hundreds of balloons to recreate scenes from his favourite childhood fairy tales and nursery rhymes - just don't go near them with a pin.

Larry Moss has dubbed his balloon-based art 'Airigami' and describes it as a mixture of sculpture, puppetry and origami.

Each of his pieces - which take scenes from stories like Jack and the Beanstalk, The Three Little Pigs, and Little Red Riding Hood - can use hundreds of balloons.

Other fairy tales given the balloon treatment include The Pied Piper, Goldilocks and The Three Bears, The Frog Prince, and The Princess and The Pea.
Air-filled models are created of the various aspects of the image, and then carefully photographed, multiple photographs are then combined to produce the final stunning fine art illustrations.

275x250.jpg The 40-year-old from New York - who worked with partner Kelly Cheatle on the 'Once Upon a Time' series - said they came up with the idea after deciding they wanted to do something 'incredibly light and playful'.

"Balloons are a whimsical medium," said Larry. "Like the fantasies we had as children, the balloons fade over time. The combination of balloons and fairy tales just seemed like a natural fit.

"It brings us back to the days when each of us blended storybook characters and creative play to explore worlds that only existed for a few moments in time."

Larry said it also opened the door for them to involve their kids in the artwork and that seeing a real person in the inflated fantasy world makes it all the more magical.

Less magical is the process of inflating all of the balloons, because so many can be required, an assortment of hand pumps and electric compressors are used to inflate them.

275x250.jpg The balloon artist started off as a street performer where he used to make the sort of balloon animals typically seen at children's parties, but over the past 25 years they've developed into the Airigami he now specialises in.

In addition to the balloon illustrations, Larry has created massive balloon-based installations - including Balloon Manor, a 10,000 square foot, 100,000 balloon haunted house - and takes on sponsored projects.

The Fine Art of Airigami:  Once Upon a Time opens Saturday, June 25, 2011 at The National Museum of Play in New York.

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