Chris Spollen
French Balloons
New pieces form the always-in progress “Fantastical Balloon Series”. The Steam Powered Art Factory is very much alive with winter work. The hissing of steam pipes and the sound of boilers roaring with fresh coal production in the winter months is always on a major high.
Originally crafted for King Louie of France (The Sun King) 1834 1836. These were often referred to as the “Fantastical Series of Decorative Balloons” hand crafted by local artisan’s and metal smiths and made specifically for the king who himself was a passionate lover of all things flight. They were carefully placed throughout the castle and were much beloved by the ruling class as well as the local towns people. This entire set has recently been discovered in a dusty large wooden create deep within "The Steam Powered Art Factory" vaults, Staten Island New York simply amazing.
“The Excelsior Grand” 1836 France, and all metal steel framed balloon gas filled and steam powered flying machine. {This was often considered the heavy metal in its day.}
Special thanks to the now famous “Hell Cat” for spreading the word of my current “Decorative Balloon Series” an all metallic and wood sculpture series. She is Forever hanging up posters all about our small island and in places that I could never get to or fit into. Unfortunally I rarely see her for she tends to keep wee hours and works late into the night.
This is said to to have been two of the Kings two favorite pieces “The Leopold Flier” 1836 on left And “The Palantant Balloon” on the right
Hand crafted by French artisans and metal smiths then put on display by the King himself. Each piece was a rather ecletic representation of a somewhat fantasized and very decorative form of a flying machine. The more decorative the more beloved the pieces became, amazing {1834 1836.}
Still Sculpting
Strange how ideas just seem to pop up right after a good nights sleep. It is almost as if the brain had been processing ideas and fragmented thoughts through the night while the body is asleep. This is a fin concept for the “Chinese Flying Fish Sculpture” that I am currently working on. I grabbed a pen and with the first cup of coffee and draw it out like it had been just sitting there just waiting for me to sketch it up.
Chinese Flying Fish on a Midland Beach EarlyMorning A quiet still autumnal morning as the morning tide slowly rises , and the sun is just beginning to show its self as the gulls morning calls echo over the sound of the gentle waves. The Flying Fish contemplates its next move in the gray stillness of an early October morning “The Chinese Flying Fish” on Midland Beach 2016 Composed of steel, cast iron, silver-plated saucers, and plates,, and two part epoxy Measuring four foot high and three and a half foot wide
Had lots of fun making Robots with very enthaustic kids at Barnes and Nobel’s “Ted the Tin Man” as a big hit as he rolled into the store
The Peneington Submarine A three-man submarine designed and built in Bristol England 1924 A pure hybrid in that the Peneington had twin steam boilers yet she used an electric coil to make full steam power. She could dive to a depth of over two hundred feet and cruise at eight knots above the surface and six knots while below the surface while on pure electrical power. A true naval advancement for her time and she led to the development of bigger and faster British submarines This 2 D dimensional relief sculpture measures two foot by two foot It is comprised of Steel ,Copper ,Tin ,Glass ,Oak and two part epoxy.
The Rene Flyer 1592 Believed to have been a scale model of a working concept design by Leonardo da Vinci for one of his mechanical Flying designs. This piece was found in the south of France and was possibly part of King Louie’s “Fantastical Art Flight Collection”. e. As it turns out the king was very much enamored with flight, hot air balloons, and winged man’s flight. This sculpture measures four feet high and three feet wide it is comprised of steel, chrome, tin , as well as various hard woods.
Ships Bottom As if taken from Davey Jones locker itself, comes this strange and wonderful creation finely hand crafted from both metals and wood. This is a relic from a far distant past a form of an ancient sea dweller now at rest on the bottom of the ocean. A denizen form of some strange ancient sea creature the now survives in the image of this odd and somewhat engaging semi relief textural sculpture. This is a one and a half foot wide by fourteen inches high metal, wood, epoxy sculpture. (Materials: steel, tin, and oak)
Still Sculpting
Johnny BaGatto says any friend of Moe Green is a friend of mine; yes we will promote this Spollen guy and his stuff here in Atlantic City for sure! We are all family now, and we just need to wet our beaks a bit in return. As for art forgetabout it! But I kind of like these gun things he does kind of crazy! Wonderful hand crafted fanatical works of art made by the leading artisans of this time and designed by engineers with limitless imaginations. These eccentric weapons represent a truly magical part of a past time a magical science fiction world.
The Lafayette Space Pistol 1834 Standard Side arm on all French Space Missions 1834 France 1832 “The Lafayette” on its rechargeable stands a six shot short-range space weapon. A very well designed short range electric and hydrogen blaster hand crafted by “The Lagrange Craftsman Guild House of Paris” well liked among the aeronauts who used them while in space.
“The Pronto Blaster” England 1834 Michaels Faraday's research into electric flow and current and his duel passion for quantum physics led to the development of this odd weapon and very powerful weapon indeed. Electrically charged atoms could be forced and redirected into a single shot or as in this case a blast.
Captured in this print on the actual gantry of the French Rocket Ship “The La Salle” is The “Oscillating Over-Thruster Ray Gun” A true rocket pistol in real life. The time was nineteen thirty six and the destination was for parts of the universe still unknown
France and its Historic Electric Hydrogen Ray Guns 1834 All was well in the tiny but peaceful small French hamlet until “Angus The Mad Ape” gets a hold of the newly developed (Electric Hydrogen French Ray Space Gun} (The Libitour). All liquored up on high on he kings finest wine and very angry, Angus now proves to be a major threat and he thinks he is French, he is believed to be of Irish origins. So stay tuned to the up coming short film “Supermen’s Staten Island Journey” to see what happens with “Angus The Ape” and much more. (An outtake from short film still in the works}
This is a series of “Metallic Hot air Balloon Sculptures”. believed to have been presented To the King around 1712. He was a lover of art dance and music. These were created By several artisans and craftsmen of that period. It has been said that king Louie dad them placed all around his summer palace. It turns out that the king was a very strong lover of flight and was simply amaze with these art pieces!
XIV, France's Sun King A lover of Flight and strong Supporter of the Arts (1643-1715) The towns people simply loved this series “Metallic Hot Air Balloon Sculptures”. They pleaded with the king to make them public and put them on display. But try as he could the king could simply could not find a venue in which to display these fine works of art. Frustrated and some what angered he had them all melted down and turned them into armaments.The townsfolk were hearts broken when this information was leaked out.
“The Bonaparte Diving Helmet” French 1836 This was an advancement on the English Brenton Diving helmet of 1832 in that this design was the first attempt at a re-breathing apparatus. This was also combined with a hydrogen feed giving the diver a mixture of both gases oxygen and hydrogen in an attempt to avoid the Bends. This design meet with limited success. This helmet was able to achieve depths of over three hundred feet but he divers still complained of diving pains when coming up to the surface . The Bonaparte Helmet sculpture measures 18 “ high and 24 ” wide Its is composed from steel iron and brass and weighs twenty four pounds This is two in “the Antique Diving Helmet Hard Hat’s Sculpture Series” ,number three should surface off the shores of South Beach, God permitting and weather willing at the end of this month.
Starting to organize my images, there are many to choose from. Trying to make sense of the almost daily output trying to gather all underone roof. “Milton Glazer” is right art is work but its kind of fun.
The Jupiter Three Stage Laser Ray Gun Just discovered on the surface of Jupiter this strange weapon was simply laying on its side on Jupiter’s surface in the sand. At first this odd device appears to be Middle Eastern and very old in both design as well as in its craftsmanship. But on closer inspection the internal workings of this what appears to be a three-stage laser ray gun are extremely advanced in their design. Much beyond our current uses of Lazers and very advanced in its use of accelerated ray projections. Several universities as well as MIT in Boston have been clamoring for a look-see at this amazing find. But the US Military as put a complete lock down on it and its whereabouts until further tests can be conducted. Until that time no further information will be made adviable to the public concerning this amazing discovery and what it is capable of doing. Of particular interest to the military is the small pop crystal aiming sight set in the rear of the weapon. This small crystal provides a mini heads up optical display showing distance, velocity, and windage for the required shot. This represents a major step up in the development of future space side arms This strange device has been nicknamed “The Jupetra”in recognition of the planet Jupiter where it was discovered. Look for this strange side arm to appear in the up and coming short film on CTV this fall In “Superman’s Staten Island Journey”. Its “Shanghi Hells Cats” favorite weapon she says it simply Purrrr-fect!
Sulpture, Pad, Pencil, Paper, Computer, Tales The process from pad to paper and then to computer is now almost a daily occurrence in my art workday. Ideas seem to swirl around my minds eye and I grab for these tools in sort of this order in an effort as not to lose these precious thoughts. This mix is then given several cups of rather strong coffee and in the quiet of the early morning hours ideas begin to take shape .The words come to mind as the sculptures begin to take shape in the studio. It’s kind of like the art pieces begin to talk me and weave their very visual indivual tales. Its quite an enjoyable process and its somewhat child like in that its sort of like creating toys or playing with things that seem to make me happy. A Steam Powered Art Factory official stamp is then placed on the computer printout after the Factory editor has read and spell checked the story, Then this indivual tale can be filed in the Factory’s vast and ever growing story inventory.
The Totenville Evening Express # 422 Staten Island 1862 On a cold and snowy night deep in the heart of the winter of 1862 Tom Callaghan the engineer was at the Wheel of locomotive number four twenty two steaming at top throttle towards to Saint George. Tom was a powerful and very frugal man and he did not like to waste either coal or steam. It has been said that if he could not see you through the fog or snow he simply would not stop his mighty engine for fear of wasting both time or fuel. Tom was not a drinking man but he was known to take a nip on a cold night, to ward off the chill, as he was fond of saying. It should be made clear here that it was not drink that gave Thomas his drive, but rather his rather tuff upbringing the third of a family of six. Tom was raised on the south shore of Staten Island .His father was a police office and his mother was a stay at home mom. However as complaints started to come in from passengers on the platform that he simply passed by on these occasions’ passengers started to take matters into own hands. It has been reported that on very cold snowy nights passengers would take too rolling up newspapers setting them on fire and waving them at the oncoming locomotive in an effort for it to stop. This generally worked and they were able to make their ferryboats on time. Whether this is true or false this tale has been handed down to me from grandfather to father and now from me and to you, we are rather fond of this tale and consider it a bit of Staten Island folklore. This Spollen recent classic sculpture proudly stands some twenty inches high and is thirty-four inches long. Constructed entirely from iron, steel and hard woods then finished in extra strength two-part epoxy. A bold statement in both re-cronstruvisim and imagination this guy is worth following for sure. “ Bill Franklin” Art Critic NYC and Art collector since 1971
Depicted here is Captain Leonard Jacobs holding a nearly completed scale model of the now famous Tesla Electric Submarine {portrayed here by Tracy White} August 30 1928 Long Island New York.
Conducting Screen Test’s with the Chinese Hellcat for her movie debut {Currently shooting both still and some video tests} Playing with moving images and composition.
“Steel Sea Fantasy” You should have seen the one that got away The Chinese seem to really enjoy fish So it’s back to the beach for me! We are proud to announce here that this fish designed and made in America in fact made right here on Staten Island. Created from materials gathered from various places here and there in and around our small but quite beautiful island shorelines.
Finally been able to get back to a project that has been on the back burner for a long time now "Tales from a Re-Imagined Past". Story’s and Art By Chris Spollen Tales of Action, Adventure, and Intrigue all set in a distant past, but wait it’s a past that has yet to be or as you might say a" Re-Imagined Past!"
Recent Articles

Tiki Island (6)

New Sculptures (6)

Surf Beach (6)

Illustrations (5)

Studio (8)

Tnkers Toys (8)

Tin Can Art from Surf Beach (8)

Space Art (9)

Familiar Shapes and Forms (6)
Happy July 4TH
Steam Rocket
Drawger and Friends at Hartford University Campus