January 26, 2012

The Boneyard Project: Return Trip at Pima Air and Space Museum

Contemporary Artists Re-Animate Military Aircraft
January 28 – May 31

The Pima Air & Space Museum is pleased to announce the opening of Round Trip: Art From The Boneyard Project on January 28 in Tucson.

Conceived in Spring 2010 by Eric Firestone, and organized with curator Carlo McCormick, The Boneyard Project resurrects disused airplanes from America’s military history through the creative intervention of contemporary artists, taking entire airplanes and their elements out of aeronautic resting spots in the desert, known as “boneyards,” and putting them into the hands of artists. Re-imagined by Brazilian graffiti artist Nunca, an abandoned DC3 comes to life with a striking picture of an eagle leading men through the skies, and the idealized dreams of flight are able to soar once again in our collective imagination. With a nod to the airplane graffiti and ‘nose art’ that became popular during WWII, the project offers a vision of the wonder by which humanity takes to the air through some of the most prominent and acclaimed artists working today.

The first part of the Boneyard Project, Nose Job, made its debut in the summer of 2011 with an exhibition of nose cones taken from military airplanes and given to artists to use as eccentric- shaped “canvases” at Eric Firestone Gallery in East Hampton, Long Island. Including more than two-dozen artists, Nose Job enjoyed critical success as the work tapped into both the broader cultural resonance of this history, and the very personal ways one relates to such a narrative. Some artists investigated the streamlined symmetry of the forms themselves, producing eloquent, elegant and even whimsical hybrids of sculpture and painting. Other artists addressed the positive and negative associations we each carry towards the difficult history of war, and many spoke more directly to their own individual relationships to this material including memories of parents who were air force or civilian pilots.

The second installment in this series: Round Trip: Selections from The Boneyard Project, will include selections from the previous Nose Job exhibition along with more than a dozen cones interpreted by artists new to this project. It will feature five monumental works created on military planes by a dynamic selection of popular graffiti and street artists from around the world. The curatorial team includes Med Sobio, an independent curator and consultant on graffiti art, and Lesley Oliver of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, a longstanding figure on the Arizona art scene. For Firestone and McCormick, the Pima show has a special relevance, for not only is it one of the largest aerospace museums in America, but it was in the desert surrounding Pima where they both first discovered the “boneyards” housing these once mighty metal giants of the United States Air Force.

More than 30 artists have participated in Round Trip including DC Super 3 planes painted by graffiti artists How & Nosm, Nunca, and Retna, a C97 cockpit by Saner, a C45 plane by Faile, and a Lockheed VC 140 Jetstar by Andrew Schoultz. Additionally, Nose Job artists Aiko, Peter Dayton, Shepard Fairey, Futura, How & Nosm, Mare, Tara McPherson, Richard Prince, Lee Quinones, Saner, Kenny Scharf, and JJ Veronis will be on display, along with new nose cones by artists Colin Chillag, Crash, Daze, Daniel Marin Diaz, Tristan Eaton, Jameson Ellis, Ron English, Faile, Eric Foss, Mark Kostabi, Lisa Lebofsky, El Mac, Alex Markwith, Walter Robinson, Hector Ruiz, Randy Slack, Ryan Wallace, and Eric White, among others.

Pima Air and Space Museum
6000 East Valencia Road

Tucson, AZ 85706
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