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Show of True Colors


Look, up in the sky! It could be Robert Pacheco's cellophane art blowing in the breeze. Or Doron Gazit's combination of flight with fancy--balloonish "airtubes."

Pacheco, a North Hollywood photographer, started his "Sun and Cellophane" series while driving across Pennsylvania after a spring snowfall. He laid a long piece of blue cellophane across an empty golf course and photographed it blowing in the wind.

Gazit's process is more complicated. His lightweight sculptures, which can be miles long, have seen the world: New York (Miss Liberty's anniversary bash), Vancouver (Expo '86) and Australia (Expo '88).

Gazit, 40, came up with the idea of an airtube while selling large twister balloons on the streets of Jerusalem. "There was a kind of balloon that hadn't been tapped yet," he says. The airtube's first major showing was here at the '84 Olympics.

The way the Venice-based artist sees it, the airtube is the line, the wind and the sun are the medium and the space (be it beach or Sinai Desert) is his canvas.

A sculpture begins with the manufacture of rolls of colorful plastic. The rolls are then taken to the site and unrolled. If the site is outdoors, wind is used to inflate; if indoors, a blower. Gazit then bends the tubes so that they fit their surroundings.

When he was asked to design the U.S. Customs House for the unveiling of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, he was locked in to the colors red, white and blue for obvious reasons. If he had had his choice, he says, he would have "used bright colors and free-form shapes."

A compromise was reached.

"It took me a while to convince them that America is not just red, white and blue. When you see a flag, you have clouds, sky and sun."

The resulting colors? Red, white and blue, plus sky blue, sun yellow and cloud white.

The Founding Folks would have been proud.

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