Artist Creates Magical Clouds That Disappear in the Blink of an Eye

Painting a cloud is one thing, but how about actually making a cloud as part of an art project? That’s exactly what artist Berndnaut Smilde has been doing, making clouds inside museum halls.

It’s a rather simple and of course fleeting process that he’s used to develop his mystic Nimbus cloud series. Berndnaut wanted to recreate a rain cloud and experimented with a variety of materials including aerogel, a porous substance that has been likened to “frozen” or “solid” smoke. This didn’t produce the desired effect, so he found himself using a large, empty room, spraying it with water droplets and then setting up a smoke machine.

The result are nimbus clouds that materialize n the middle of the room for only a few seconds, allowing a brief window of opportunity for photography. “I can control the space, but the clouds will always be different,” he told FastCoDesign. “It always takes a while to get them where I want.”


Or course part of what makes the cloud photographs really pop are the spaces he chooses to create his cloud creations. Berndnaut has created them inside San Francisco’s War Memorial & Performing Arts Center, and done both ominous cloud photos and ones that are more playful, like a rain cloud over Charlie Brown’s head.

It’s certainly one of the more magical art projects out there, lending itself to a photograph before it disappears forever.


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