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Chris Spollen
Fabricating and Fantasizing
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Russian Space Art Vladimir Putin has been quoted as saying of Professor Spollen’s work, “Nice guy, but a little strange, but I kind of like his stuff ”. Putin has also expressed some concern “So who is this guy Spollen”, and how does he know so much about our Russian Space Secrets CIA, MI6,KGB? Professor Spollen has been working very closely with the Russian government both with the Foreign Exchange Public Relations Dept, and the Russian Office of Aerospace.
Vintage Art pieces from an almost forgotten past now have been painstakingly brought back to life. A time of “Sputnik “and rocket launches of manned an unmanned capsules orbiting our planet earth. In this collection you will find strange oddities from toy space pistols from now forgotten soviet space theme parks to absurd early space or smart phones of their time "Russian Space Guns Kiev 1964" The Series Chris Spollen
“Pneumatic Pop Gun” 1963 Russian A hand crafted wood and metal Toy Arcade Pop Pun One of six guns this was a handcrafted arcade gun that was evolved with hitting dimensional orbiting space stations and flying saucers. This game required three pumps of air by the player to make ready each shot. Once released it forced colored corks at the three dimensional space objects knocking as many down as possible was the objective of this game of skill.
Just recently discovered in what appears to have been an early space based amusement park in Northern Kiev Russia. This was probably a space gun from a booth in that park recently dug up and dated to be around nineteen sixty-three or neaten sixty-four. The entire Russian countryside was completely enamored with anything to do outer space and or the space race during this period of Russian past Space history. Items like this one are considered rare but are not uncommon. This example is in very good shape considering its age. This example is fabricated from both metal and wood and looks to be a complete sample.
Ideas flow form at an almost obsessive level of mental imaging and as well as an almost neurotic needs to tinker. Never using a sketchpad always scrambling for paper in the attempt as not to lose an idea or image as they sort of pass by he minds eye in that never-ending river of thoughts. The more one does this the more he mind wants to engage in this process. It is the thumbnail habit on steroids a lifetime of thinking visually gets one to this level. The so called smart phone is the death kiss to such activity as it engages one in endless and mindless activity not that this is a bad thing for some this is a welcome distraction as for me I reuse to have one, it would simply stop my flow and kill my creativity.
New Jersey Mosquito 1964 Staten Island New York Few can probably remember “the mosquito man” but for my gang and me in the early sixties growing up on Staten Island it was a source of great fun. It was simply an old modified surplus army jeep set up with a large barrel of some unknown chemical that when spayed out as atomized fog would kill mosquitos. The truck would drive from block to block slowly spaying out volumemus amounts of thick white fog. It was simply to irresistible for kids of younger years not to jump in it and run around in this thick made man white fog of a magical fantasy world. For some reason all the very large mosquitos were called “Jersey Mosquitos”. I guess the reasoning was that if they were that big they probably flew over from New Jersey to our little island looking for helpless victims. Looking back on this now I did believe at the time that this had to be true. The reason that they were so large was that they had been hatched and raised in the marshes in and around the oil refineries. The fact that had survived that level of pollution was proof that they were now a new and slightly genetically deformed super breed of mosquito. An all-metal sculpture with a wingspan of over three and a half feet with a removable base This one was captured January 2016 at Midland Beach Staten Island New York. It still always starts with doodles and a pencil and a bit of a daydream in this case that curved tail constructed out of multiple cans that simply captured my imagination and drew me towards the creation and completion of this bug.
Eighteen degrees on a very cold February morning and I am carrying around a four-foot robot and phographing this all-metal robot on the beach in the water and in winter. Its eight thirty in the morning as the wind in making my eyes tear, and I must take my gloves off to shoot the camera and my fingers are freezing. The only problem with this entire scenario is that this is exactly when and how you get the best shots. So I simply spray siliconed my old work boots wrapped my head in a large wool scarf and did the photo-shoot, the rest is history.
Moon Landing Well, we did it landed we just landed on the moon yesterday morning in fact, Da Vinci’s new ideas worked. He just confessed to me however that he had never really designed a Rocetship before, I was always interested in human powered flight he just confessed to me but never powered flight as in this case a steam powered flying rocket ship a sort of a “silver bullet”. Well we cannot say very long for I have to teach class tomorrow, but what an amazing journey, space flight is the future and a true adventure for sure.
Old Race Horse
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I kind of feel that currently I am a little bit like that old racehorse. A horse that finally no longer has to race each day to earn his daily bread, but I still very much enjoy the race. I still think in visuals within the minds eye and now in three dimensions. I still compuslulivy doodle out thumb nail sketches and I seem to be to be dipping into a stream of ideas that might have always been there, but until recently I have simply been unable to see them. Ideas are coming in ones and twos and threes from some where in my past as if in a stream in which I just look down and pick them out of the flow. The only real difference is that now I no longer have to show my thoughts to an art director or an editor for that matter. The many years of working freelance as left me with process of image making firmly burned into my minds eye. It has left me finely a tuned old horse with some fairly good old habits. My new path is rather joyful in the freedom that I have found in these greener pastures. I still rise quite early each day and put in a full day of making, and tinkering in some respects I am working harder now then when I was freelancing, but its fun.
The main difference is that currently I am working with large forms that are welded, epoxied, and or glued and they take a bit longer to finish.
Cosmonaut Rotomoton # M42 (Russia) The worlds first fully functioning Rotomoton to guide, fly, and circle navigated the earth Augest 12, 1961
“The Stalin #6” A first attempt at a Digital Space Smart Phone 1961 {Russian Space Art} A pre- curser to todays modern day smart phone It scanned the heavens with a radar-equipped antenna, and then the device was switched to microwave transmitter to deliver and receive audio input. It worked somewhat well but the signal from earth was weak and the single had a lot of noise and static in its transmission. Four versions of the Stalin six were made seven, eight and nine were all made an all tested in nineteen sixty two. But the rotation of the earth and the suns radiation all caused reception problems so funding was cut for this a first “Russian Smart Space Phone” in nineteen sixty five
“The Piften Rostioff” Russia1964 Depicted here is sort of a Russian early pic-to-drawing of a proposed space weapon for Cosmonauts on board space flight defense system. The “Piften Rostioff” as it was named was alleged to have been a multi shot laser two handed cranked cockpit gun. This design was fabricated at a clock-manufacturing factory just outside Kiev and in fact incorporated some clock mechanisms in its internal workings. Weight was of primary concern as well a size in the early Russian Space Program. It’s still an enigma as why so many examples of these fine designs were never produced, there were several weapons manufacturing companies in Russia during this time all competing for these much valued space contract
Russian Space Guns “The Series” “The Piften Rostioff” Russia1964 (Model B) Shown here is he “Shanghai Hellcat” holding a Piften Rostioff Model # 2B, 1962 outside the factory gates near Kiev Russia
The Mercedes Bug On New Years Day.” “Morning Flight 1899” Believed to be an early scale model for what is believed to have been Mr. Karl Benz’s early aviation period. His flying machine model protype has been dated around 1899. Few people know that Mr. Benz was also an avid flight enthusiast. Some refer to this design as an early drone design but it was in fact his prototype for and early airplane. This peculiar sculpture has a wingspan of over three and a half feet and a body length of two and a half feet. It is an all-metal and wood construction art piece that sits on it own flight station pedestal or take off base. This flying machine also bears the now famous Mercedes-Benz logo.
Morning Departure Winter December1928 The USS Shenandoah Costal Support Weather Zeppelin Standing over three and a half foot high this sculpture is composed of both steel wood and cardboard and she has been is fully winterized. She proudly stands on a removable all steel mechanically based podium and launch pad design. A solid art piece of hand made construction reminsisent of yet another time in America’s not too distant aviation history.
Larger Forms
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The Iron Phantom Gun Boat 1884 The Iron Phantom Gun Boat of the North Sea 1884, Sailors referred to her as “The Demon of the Sea” A rough gun ship was spotted off the straights of Panama. It has been reported to have attacked and sunk two French ships and one Spanish warship. Her identity is unknown as she fly’s no flag of homeport. Sailors describe her as a sea beast an iron serpent few who have spotted her have lived to tell of the story. A recent report has surfaced that the frame of this vessel has been spotted in the title pool near the Old Bayonne Iron works Bayonne New Jersey. On closer investagation a series of iron ribs have been documented semi summered in the murky bay’s bottom. Questions have risen as to the date of this wreck but many think that this could be quite possibly be the abandoned wreck of the infamous “Iron Phantom”. “The Infamous Iron Phantom” framed and hung aboard a confederate gunboat boiler room she was known to all who sailed the seven seas a true legend in her time.
Russian Space Gun 1962 “The Krosky Kranker” Considered by many collectors as very valuable for its overall detail and somewhat art deco flair, this is a very fine example of a rare Russian artifact from the early sixties cold war. A part of the Russian space program for possible use as onboard defense primary in orbiting space stations and or orbiting space capsules.
Four Foot five Robot Professor Bartholomew P.Perry retired from Cambridge Science University Dept. of Science. His specialty was quantum physics and robotics. Professor Perry was heavily involved with old metal robotics, rob-tons, and modern circuit boards. A somewhat reclusive gentleman he very much kept to himself. He always seemed to be jotting down notes as if his mind was in a consent state of preoccupation. Most considered him a bit of a daydreamer, a sort of an odd man out.
The Old Salty Sea Bird Down to the Sea the Lonely Sea Moving from forms dictated by objects found and starting to make my own forms. Combining cans for volume and sheets of hand cut aluminum with a recently discover new extra strong epoxy. The process takes a bit longer but the results are much more exciting and the images seem to be getting a little bit larger
Steel Fish Dawn arrives on a cool and still autumn morning as my “Steel Fish” quietly sits on the shoreline of the small but pleasant island where I currently live. An all steel and aluminum sculpture 4.25’ wide x 4’ tall An all-metal sculpture that is some what based on a Staten Island sand shark. Its one thing to work in the studio where I can step back just about a chair length or so, but its quite another thing when your creation takes its place in an environment and you see it as part of the living vista. This is the beginning of a new totally new journey for me and a new process, much to learn and I am still learning.
Steel Rocetship As the morning mist slowly fades into dawn of the new day on my small but friendly little island our rocket ship sits by the morning tide awaiting its chance to soar far into the heavens above. All is very quite on this tranquil little beach only the occasional gulls’ call can be heard from above as they effortlessly glide over damp and salty mornings air. The Rocetship sits quite patiently ready as the fuel has been loaded, the destination has been set for as far out as the imagination can possibly take us. Blast off is clocked in for post-dawn when the air is very still and the vista is all quite as the heavens are clear and they open up to the dawn of yet another adventure
Re-Invention
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The Da Vinci “Lapatra Samatra or “ The Diving Turtle” Or one of the first recorded ideas for a working submersible machine Barcelona Spain1494 This is another scale model of a two-man submersible designed by Leonardo da Vinci for the duke of Malian. A two-man submersible capable of a depth of 2o feet and with the ability to stay down for approximately twenty minutes. The Interesting thing on this design is the wooden side stabilizer that almost appears fish like. The wooden side rudders could be moved by a system of chains and hand cranks and would enable the ship to turn and or dive. The rudders also supplied a stabilizing affect for the subs overall handling and general sailing ability on the surface and when operating submerged. In this print a 1908 recreation of Da Vinci’s “Turtle” a full scale working model is being prepared for a test dive at dockside Liverpool by the National Academy of Science, of note here is the compressed air being piped on board by a mobile fire pump. At the same time the harbor is being re-dredged to allow the proper depth for the submarine to tests it potential
You can take the Car to The Tour Zeppelin 1908 The King George taking on fuel a Motorized Zeppelin outside of Leeds Now sight seeing around jolly old England is a breeze Take the Steameracher Race Car to the Zeppelin its is the fastest way to connect you with the inner city tour Zeppelin. “The King George” tour flight provides slow moving very quiet propeller driven tours above the city. Able to fly at relatively low altitudes this is a great way to view and enjoy the sights. “The King George” seats four and costs fifty cents quite a deal for its day.
“Death from Above” August 12 France 1914 Young and strong flight officer John O’Brien never even saw it coming. Just out of flight school Bristol England and with only two weeks of flying above the fury that would be come to be known as the war to end all wars. A young man at the peak of his life is cut down and for what.
Throttle jammed and loosing altitude rapidly desperate a fight to stay alive as the grip of death quickly brings our brave young pilot to his untimely demise.
Opening up our studio doors to show some summer work as we are getting ready for this fall
Getting ready for the fall teaching assignments already creating yet another character and costume, my poor wife she will be “August Ray” this year as the “She Wolf of Shanghai” a trained Asian assassin and former dancer at the crazy horse cabaret France 1928.East meets West in this action thriller model drawing pose and photo shoot, should be very interesting. We will be working like a design studio that is doing a visual pitch for an action move, pitching the drawings directly to the money people for the films finical backing.
The Da Vinci Mechanical Flyer # 28 “The Circular Mechanical Flyer”1500 Milan Da Vinci’s further thoughts on mechanical flight This design was considered one of Leonardo’s favorites; for its overall size and shape. This one was believed to be just a scale model for full sized design further down the road. Da Vinci was a true renaissance man he was Painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, astronomer, cartographer, botanist, historian, and writer.
The Tessele hand Gun Florence 1496 Lenardo Da Vinci The Tessele Hand Pistol was hydrogen and flint sparked hand held weapon, capable of firing six lead shots with a range of one hundred yards a rather advanced concept for its day.
“The Barista “Florence Italy 1494 A side arm designed for the then Papal Armies of Florence A multi shot blaster “the father of the morden day shot gun” In 1482, at age thirty, Leonardo relocated to design military weapons for the duke of Milan. This was not such a great leap for an artist; during the Renaissance, war was viewed as an art form, and, more significantly, Leonardo never studied an area but what he did he mastered. During his late forties, Leonardo was back in Florence after nearly two decades, but he would soon leave once more to become military engineer for the commander of the papal armies. He later returned again to Florence, and then made still another move to Milan in 1506.
“The Chipilla” or small Steam Powered Bird 1489 Designed for the Duke of Malian as a gift and as a letter of introduction for Lenardo Da Vinci around 1489.Another Da Vinci working prototype in the long development of mechanical powered flight, this one was rather rare in that it employed the use of steam in its internal workings of the design design.
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