Brooklyn-based artist Juan Fontanive continues his investigation of kinetic sculpture and moving images with his most recent series, Vivarium A, Vivarium B, and Ornithology S. These whimsical works feature illustrations of birds and butterflies housed in painstakingly assembled mechanisms made from recycled bike and clock parts. Tiny motors within the sculptures allow the pictures to be flipped in a continuous loop.
Combining elements of drawing, painting, printmaking, film, and sculpture, Fontanive’s mechanized flipbooks evoke a deep sense of nostalgia. His images, with their arbitrarily changing vibrant colors, call to mind childhood coloring books, while the soothing hums and clicks of the pieces’ motors evoke old school film projectors. The rapidly flipping pages evoke the frenzied movement of the subjects they feature, causing the works to occupy a haunting space between the the natural and the mechanical.