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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Water Sculpture

Mark Fuller's WET Design
Some of us paint with it. A few artists freeze it and carve it.  We swim in it, we wash in it, most of us even stoop to drinking it from time to time when there's nothing better on the menu.  Some, such as my wife, are even H20 addicts. But seldom is it thought of as an art medium standing alone, in its natural state.  Maybe we need to take a look at the work of Mark Fuller.  Mark Fuller is the CEO of WET Design.  Speaking as an artist, he knows more about water than just about anyone.  There isn't much he can't do with it. He can make it jet to the top of tall buildings, turn it into marbles, set it on fire, make it climb steps, even make it so people can walk on it. For centuries water was an integral part of the sculpture we call fountains, except that it was the bronze and marble delivery system that was carved, not so much the water itself.

Fuller got his start 28 years ago startling crowds at Walt Disney World with his aquatic magic. He presented it as the prelude to a stage show; but the curtain (of water) in front of the stage was more interesting than the show. Lasers and lights, music and hydraulics merged to leave the audience breathless. It became a show in itself when the performers balked at following such an act. It was performance art minus the performers, just...water. The warm-up act took center stage while the area below stage became a plumber's nightmare. From there, Fuller took the show on the road, leaving behind hundreds of major fountains all around the world. The company owns the patents to more than 50 different high-tech valves, nozzles, and robots; leaving the line between engineering, art, and entertainment in a misty blur.

Today, you can find Niagara Falls in Budapest. In Singapore, one of his aquatic sculptures is a mile and a half long--billowing mists climaxing in a dazzling water monument. Disney has several of his works in which children (and adults so inclined) can play among his rhythmic bursts. Epcot has an installation that leaves one in awe, and sometimes, if the wind is right, a little damp (from personal experience). Las Vegas' Bellagio has a Fuller fountain that covers most of a nine-acre lake. San Diego has another Fuller liquid masterpiece. So does the mega-rich Sultan of Brunei, and Coca-Cola. In the Middle-East, one of his fountains will perform its aquabatics to dominate a 40-story hotel atrium.  While we only paint art with it, WET Designs' sculpted water earns several million dollars a year.  That's cash with a splash.

Inasmuch as still photos are in no way adequate in displaying his work, visit Mark Fuller's designs  at his impressive Website:

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