Chris Spollen
Russian Rays Guns, Rocket ships and Zeppelins 1952-1964
From my current "Weapons of Mass Imagination's series: Working on the north shore of my small island in an old factory in an undisclosed location, recreating early “Russian Space Guns”, Rocket Ships, and Zeppelin’s. In complete secrecy with the aide of two retired Russian Rocket Scientists sent over directly from Keiv.Each design is being carefully recreated in exact detail true to its original design. With a few original blue prints and some very old black and white photos that the Russian government has saved the work goes on slow but very well. This is a top-secret project so little else is currently available concerning this on going event.
“Flying Saucer Ray Gun” 1942 Found recently on Staten Island NY near the base of the Bayonne Bridge During the summer of 2014 Believed to have been tied into the H Bomb program which was secretly conducted on Staten Island it was reported that a flying saucer had been spotted in the area during that summer night of 1942.This is a ray gun that was found recently on the actual site and might be actual proof that an alien presence which was reported to have been observed around the H bomb site actually occurred. Little else is known and may just be pure speculation the government has denied any information about this and what if anything was actually going on under the Bayonne Bridge during the summer of 1942 on little old Staten Island.
“The Royal Zeftan” a Dutch designed Chinese made early naval deck gun a six shot hand crank onboard defense weapon 1640. It was fired from a swivel base stand generally mounted on the front or back of the cargo ship. Originally “The Zeftan”was deigned for the Dutch West India Trading Company to ward off sea raiders.
“The Krushaft Rocetship” 1962 Kiev Russia, this was a semi horizontal launched kerosene powered early space rocket ship prototypes. Capable of a gradual accent to some sixty-six miles up in a gradual trajectory, then with the aide of two liquid oxygen boosters this ship could in theory brake free of the earth’s atmosphere and fly into deep space. Designed almost totally by Kremlin’s leading rocket scientist Carl Kaminski who was a rather robust man, this rock ship was given the nick-man the flying elephant for its overall size and girth. Its been rumored that the Russians were very much in favor of semi horizontal launches. This rumor swirled around for many years that the Russians got the original idea of a horizontal launch from American thirties black and white “Flash Gordon” movies and their rock ship takeoffs, this has never been proven to be true or not.
An US Air force space pistol designed for use aboard the X-15 space plane in 1962,but was later canceled when funding was cut on the X-15 in 1964 in favor of non-pilot controlled rocket ships. This hand held device was very effective at short range and proved to be very durable in space travel.
“The Oscar” An all-metal skinned lighter the air flying machine, propelled by an air-cooled “Demlar” rear mounted aero -plane engine. This rather large Zeppelin was capable of crossing the far distant oceans and back again. China was her primary designation and a trip of choice for the willing and ever waiting British masses. Tickets for this journey were a mere fifty cents or two bits and could be purchased at the wireless hut on the left, which boasted an actual Marconi working wireless receiver. And on the right any candy for the flight could be had at the captain’s sweet shop. Depicted here is “The Oscar” in the process of being pre - flighted for a trip to China on a small beach in Liverpool England early evening in low wind on or about 1928
The Havenchisky A Russian space handgun taken from the “Kiev Flying Saucer #2” 1964,” The Havenchisky” named for its inventor Ivan Havenchisky. A wall mounted ray gun that combined a static charge with a small shot of hydrogen to produce an arch of explosive charge. Good for six shots this was an on board space defense weapon.
Russian Space pistols #42 it never went into production and its designers has not been found small in scale but rumored to have been very powerful. Little else is known about the production or development of this strange little device its has been dated at 1954 Moscow.
The Krochisky 1952 Russian space pistol a wall mount design designed for inside an orbiting space station as a blast pistol good for a distance up to one hundred and fifty yards.
1928 British semi electric gas charged hand gun (The Popluer] for use on zeppelins as offensive protection for close in raiders. A popular side arm preferred by the royal guard for it’s easy of discharge and lightweight.
One of our three six foot robots standing outside our studio caught the eye of a locally famous wrestler and he in turn connected us on to his friend and the local cable TV station talk show host and “whala” an hour show of my wife’s and mine art explaining presenting our work.
Amazing where this journey is taking us I am simply just going along for the ride at this point.
On the Road
With two currents shows up one in Scranton Pennsylvania and one at Wagner College Staten Island things have been pretty busy lately….
Da Vinci’s “The Centura” #24 Milan Italy 1490 Thoughts on the mechanical and evolution of flight design. Da Vinci was very fond of this design for its cemetery and the clock like appearance the bottom wheel gave the design a clock like look.
Wagner College is a one man show” Rockets Ships to Robots’ sculptures, and prints
People, press, questions, and lots and lots of words not what I am used to having worked alone all these many years in the quiet of my small but very neat studio.
“Flying Roboton” 1952 (USA) Designed and built by the Radisson Radio Company 1952 of USA Detroit Michigan A radio controlled fully automated Roboton, that could hover as well as fly with the aid of both a gas motor as well as compressed air for lift and flight re-direction. Unfortunally it was turned down by the military as too complex to manfacture, and later turned down by several toy company’s as to costly to produce and not child safe. After a series of similar marketing shortcomings The Radisson Radio Company folded unfortunally just as am and stereo radios were coming on to the market, which would have been a boom to this small and struggling innovative company.
The 514 to Scranton Pennsylvania (Now on display) The Five Fourteen is full up on steam and on her way through the snow filled mountains of Pennsylvania. Chugging and hissing over the hills and through the frozen valleys this coal burning little ironwork horse, as she is affectioally referred to as always gets though and on time shouts the engineer as he feverously feeds coal into the glowing main boiler.
The Scranton show is a three person show Kevin Mc Closeky, Veronica Lawlor, Chris Spollen, its made up of wood cuts Kevin, drawings Veronica and sculptures Chris Spollen.
In the future I will show more prints as well as the sculptures. The stories behind each piece should also be on display, I am learning as we go along.
Folks were capitated by the detail and seemed to enjoy figuring out what the material’s that were used in the sculptures creation were.
Best of all my wife and I got to dig through the snow before the opening and visit Steamtowm National Park in Scranton Pennsylvania dedicated to steam locomotives, We must have climbed over at least twenty old very large steam machines, they were simply amazing.
Working in Demensions
Stared a few years ago working with flat one dimension images, and now it has lead me to full dimensional free standing works. Giclee print 18"x24"
Runaway Train: A brakeman falls asleep at the switch and the twelve o’clock midnight local to Totenville is roaring out of control. This was a time well before the Westinghouse air system was installed and each car had to be individually braked by hand. The twelve o’clock midnight local is locked in the jaws of death as it hurdles down the track and what fate awaits this train and her passengers.(Giclee print { 18” x 24”]
Runaway Train 2014 (The Sculpture] Measuring three feet wide and two and a half foot high An all wood and steel sculpture construction, with removable train cars for ease of moving and transportation.
Sketched this idea many times over a month’s time, it simply would not go away. It seems good ideas do not go away till they are given life.
Dead Mans Curve 1824 Every brakeman’s nightmare the curve on the downhill descent on the southern tip of this small and remote island known to some as “Satan’s Island”. A terrible rattle and thunderous hissing could be heard through out the evening sky as the ten o’clock train began her perriless descent back down the back southern hill into town. With brakes almost locked up and the boiler at her max the engineer prays as he pulls for all his might on the main brake handle. His fate is about to be determined on this treachous decent down once again on the old southern tracks known to all as “Dead Man’s Curve”. (Giclee print 18” x 24”]
This sculpture is three and a half foot wide, by two and a half foot tall, constructed of both wood and steel.
Paul Singer Grant 1864 Single Shot Spindle Pop Gun: Paul Singer Grant was a British eccentric, tinker, artist, and inventor born into the industrial age as a man of great wealth as heir to the Singer Sewing Machine Empire that his father had created. Paul was fascinated with both Edison’s electric light bulb as well as the Magic Lantern. He created hundreds of glass slides of images that he was drawn to for use with the Magic Lantern. Paul was known to throw vast parties for the British royalty where he presented much to the amazement of the attendees his colorful images projected with the magic lantern on to the castle walls
Electro Magnetic Hydrogen Pulse Gun recently discovered in a shop in rural England
Originally believed to have been a side show attraction from a twenty’s British traveling show, this now recent find has been identified as at highly advanced repelling weapon possibly designed as an Aircraft defense system but as of yet the designer is still of unknown origins. (Dated 1908). This strange device uses a combination of compressed air and nitrogen forced through several expansion chambers employing various internal values. When the pressure is high enough a small electric charge is triggered by the hand held side arm on the top of the main chamber. The blast that results is so strong that the force and can reach targets over a mile and eradicate anything in its path. The downside is that this blast takes yet another thirty minutes to re-arm and fire once again. Scientists who have examined this strange device have stated to the press that this find opens yet another door to a seemly-unknown array of scientific devices of the mid to late twenties in the ongoing British Armaments saga. (Sculpture measures three foot wide two foot high, wood metal ,plastic.
I knew when I drew this compositional study that I had it ,the sketch was based on materials at hand in the studio, and something just clicked in my minds eye and knew this would come into being.
Sculpture[ Rocket Ship to the Moon] One and a half foot wide by one and a half foot tall ,metal, and wood construction
Rocket Ship to the Moon (Through the eyes of a child) A round trip ticket is a mere dollar fifty! for twenty-four hours in outer space. A dollar fifty for a round-trip ticket space adventure and then back again, a small fortune for a little boy however. But nonetheless this is the plan for our unstoppable little astronaut. He has been dreaming of flying to the moon for months now and has been counting his pennies in great antisapatince of such a journey. As our story unfolds we find Christopher patiently counting his coins backwards and forwards but now matter how many times he counts or in which direction he adds them up his sum total of all his earthly posseions is four cents, four cents!. How is he ever going to obtain the sum total of a dollar fifty in order to buy a ticket aboard the moon rocket ship (Giclee print 18” x 24”]
Art on The Go
Its been an amazing journey and it seems too be picking up speed and direction of its own these days, with galleries shows and museums moving into view. Robot # 42 has just come back from a two month tour at the “Monmouth Museum” “The Neo Outsider Show” curated by Dion Hitchings, Robot # forty two was well liked. He is now back on duty in front of my shop with glowing hands and head thanks to the aide of three solar lights.
Folks seem to like Robots
Been working on a new series of sculptures free standing rather larger sculptures “British Quierios 1908 -1928” This is Mandrakes Now famous" Death Ray"
Teamed up with a small publisher Avi Gvili and we have full color children books almost finished due out this fall. “The Art of Recycling”, the sculptures of Chris Spollen all color to be published by Boulevard Books This is a proof page from the interior of the book
Robots are a very good promo they and seem to get a lot of attention where they go. This is “Mr. –Ro -Box The Re-Cycler” he is created from all plastic throw away matrials that were in this case not thrown away. PS he as a result of being construed out of all plastic is easy to carry, Robot # 42 is a beast to move around.
And things have come full circle with a solo show at the new High School of Art and Design They have given me the new “Kenny Gallery” for the month of September to feature works form the up coming book and new sculptures as well. Nice to pay back asI was a student there some forty-three years ago.
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Steam Rocket
Drawger and Friends at Hartford University Campus