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nimbus

Meghan HarcarComment

I have been finding myself coming back to the Nimbus Photography series by Dutch artist Berndnault Smilde recently.   Smilde creates clouds indoors using a smoke machine. In order to create the clouds, Smilde says that "It has to be cold, damp, and really wet, so I'm moisturizing the air as much as possible." He tells the BBC that "The moisture will stick to the smoke, making it much heavier." The cloud holds its shape just long enough to be photographed before it dissipates. Smilde notes that there really isn't a way to predict the shape a cloud will take, so they create the clouds hundreds of times, then choose one to be the final piece.

These have such a surreal quality for me.  I love the all of the contrast in these pieces: such as the white of the cloud vs the color of the room; the hard and even sometimes ornate quality of the architecture versus the soft billowiness of the clouds; and placing an object we associate with the natural world and expect to see outside within a man made structure. 

Smilde was also recently commissioned to do a series with Harper's Bazaar where he created clouds for a photo shoot featuring famous designers.  I particularly liked what Karl Lagerfeld and Albert Elvaz had to say about clouds and fashion. You can see their photos and their quotes below.

Do you have a favorite from the images below?  

Happy Friday! 

 

 Nimbus Green Room, 2013

Nimbus Green Room, 2013

 Nimbus Minerva, 2012

Nimbus Minerva, 2012

 Nimbus Munnekeholm, 2012

Nimbus Munnekeholm, 2012

 Nimbus LOT, 2013

Nimbus LOT, 2013

 Nimbus Cukurcuma Hamam I, 2012

Nimbus Cukurcuma Hamam I, 2012

 Nimbus NP3, 2012

Nimbus NP3, 2012

 Nimbus Platform57, 2012

Nimbus Platform57, 2012

Berndnaut-Smilde_-The-In-Cloud---Kar-l-Lagerfeld_-2013_-Courtesy-the-artist_-Harper’s-Bazaar-and-Ronchini-Gallery.-Photo-credit-Simon-Procter-..jpg
“I love the old saying and the idea that clouds have a silver lining. I would love it to be true. A cloudy day can be inspiring, because just blue can be tiring and boring in the end. Clouds are the most beautiful installations of ever-changing abstract modern art in movement. They are like an inspiring veil. Unformulated dreams of realities to come.

What to wear with a cloud? All shades of gray go best with clouds. I would not wear black-and-white. Silver would be great too, or an elegant pink. But no gold—too shiny. Leave it to the sun. “
— Karl Lagerfeld to Harper's Bazaar
“When I was younger, people said I had my head in the clouds, but I always had my feet on the ground. Clouds are never negative for me. There is something serene and naive about clouds. I think that when kids start to sketch, after doing home or a tree, there is always a cloud. I drew a lot of clouds, and I tried once for a Lanvin show to have the girls coming from the clouds. But it didn’t come out well—it looked like the CNN weather report. A cloud would be my world—even the shape of a cloud is round. The fantasy, the desire, the reality, work, love, relationships. Everything. I love cloudy days. I work in a black room. I live in a very dark apartment. I love Paris in the winter. I love Paris when it’s really cloudy. I feel that clouds have some sort of protection. Clouds are like dreams, and I dream about work. Every collection, it’s like starting a new chapter and a new book. I think we need that moment of being inside the cloud, and the cloud follows us through the whole process. That’s the beauty of design. You don’t have to go inside the total reality. You start with a dream, you start with a cloud, then you start moving on and going down. Even when you hit the ground, I think it’s important to keep your head up.” - Alber Elbaz
— Alber Elbaz to Harper's Bazaar
Berndnaut-Smilde_-The-In-Cloud---Al-ber-Elbaz_-2013_-Courtesy-the-artist_-Harper’s-Bazaar-and-Ronchini-Gallery.-Photo-credit-Simon-Procter-..jpg
 

Nimbus Info and Photos from here and here; Harper's images and quotes from here and here.