Bubble Art is a form of Modern Pop Art created by injecting acrylic paint into the air-filled pockets of the everyday packing material known as bubble wrap. The plastic bubbles are filled with specific colors in accordance with a pattern, ultimately resulting in the creation of a pixilated image.
Darren Wolfberg, a Chappaqua resident with a well-established career in finance, creates Bubble Art in his spare time. Wolfberg’s art actualizes pop images using generationally relevant subject matter. He marries the ease of visual simplicity with the complexity of the art’s creation process. The pieces are given modest names such as “The Glasses”, “The Surfer”, “The Flower” and “The Lips”. Over the past few years, he has developed a significant following.
Wolfberg’s interest in art began in childhood. As the son of an interior designer and an acclaimed architect, an awareness of visual beauty was instilled in him as far back as he can remember. In addition, he grew up in Miami, where art deco patterns and vibrant colors were all the rage. Wolfberg formalized his interest in art through his studies at the University of Michigan Stamps School for Art and Design.
Five years ago, when visiting an art gallery in Greenwich Village, Wolfberg was introduced to Bubble Art. The art that was displayed was created in an impressionist format playing off pointillism, an impressionist technique of creating a picture using small dots. Wolfberg’s interpretation, influenced by Miami’s South Beach of the 1980’s, uses this format to create pieces that are more modern and graphic.
To create his art, Wolfberg has spent a lot of time figuring out, through trial and error, what type of paint should to be used and what type of needles are best to get the paint into the bubbles. “It’s about the art but it’s also about the process; getting the bubbles as full as you can without damaging them” he explains. Each of the designs are carefully planned on a computer. The process requires creativity, patience and a steady hand. “I love seeing the things I visualize in finished form. Having the confidence of taking what you see in your mind, planning and problem solving for it, and seeing it come out in finished form is flat-out rewarding,” remarks Wolfberg.
Wolfberg feels his Bubble Art compliments the style of his generation. “Many customer’s home interiors are neutral gray and also white monotone. However, if you introduce colorful art to this background it allows the art to be exhibited as the focal point. It is a minimalist aesthetic that resonates with a lot of people.”
Recently, Wolfberg has been experimenting with framing. Typically, his art is displayed in a floating or leucite frame. He is now designing pieces with type on the inside of the frame, bringing a layering effect.
The excitement and anticipation of the 2016 Presidential election coupled with the influence of the Obama Hope Poster created by Los Angeles based contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey, inspired Wolfberg to create his Bubble Art portrait of Hillary Clinton. The piece served as a unique expression of what it felt like to reside in Chappaqua during this time in political history.
Recently, Wolfberg was given the opportunity to present the portrait to Clinton as a gift. “Are you in the MOMA?” Clinton asked, when Wolfberg gave the piece of art to her. “No” he replied. When she inquired further about the specifics of his career, he explained “I’m in finance.”
Clinton’s question, along with similar inquiries from others, highlight Wolfberg’s current dilemma: is this a hobby or a business? The answer is something he is still figuring out. He has not yet built up enough inventory to create a show; most of his designs are custom orders. Yet, Wolfberg feels compelled to explore the possibilities of where his art takes him and he is excited for what lies ahead.
Visit bubbleart.io for more information about Darren Wolfberg and his Bubble Art.