In the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci, Theo Jansen (born 1948, the Netherlands) has applied his background in art and engineering toward the creation of extraordinary self-propelled creatures called Strandbeests (beach animals). Made from simple materials such as PVC tubing and plastic bottles, these self-contained systems utilize available (and stored) wind power for their unique locomotion. For the past 20 years Jansen has been perfecting his Strandbeest designs on the Dutch seaside while gaining international fame. A star of the TED Conference stage, Jansen has exhibited his work extensively in Asia and Europe and has been profiled by The New Yorker, CBS Sunday Morning, Huffington Post, The New York Times and NPR.
Lena Herzog (born 1970, Russia) created all the photographs in this exhibition. Starting in 2007, she traveled to the beach at Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague, to document Theo Jansen's relationship with the Strandbeests and their evolution. She captures the wonder that the beests inspire in Theo and in us. At her studio in Los Angeles, she also created photograms — photos made without a camera — by placing Strandbeest parts on photographic paper and exposing them to light. Her images are presented here as gelatin silver prints and inkjet photomurals.