Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Giant Inflatables: A Houston Vernacular

I should perhaps say a vanishing Houston vernacular, since rules on giant inflatables have been adopted by City Council that will limit their use. But as a long-standing part of our visual landscape, I think it is incumbent on our artists to explore the artistic possibilities of inflatables.

Jet Creations is a fabricator of inflatables. It looks like they have lots of off-the-shelf designs. For example:

(I don't think the sexy model is part of the product line, though.)

And perhaps most amazing (at least to me) are the inflatable costumes.
You can get off the shelf an inflatable "soul brother" with comb in his afro.

OK, I am joking around, but really I see a lot of artistic possibilities here where an artist either hires a firm like Jet Creations to fabricate an inflatable piece of art, or simply figures out how to do it herself. We're a city that loves its giant inflatable gorillas. I think we, as a city, might enjoy some giant inflatable art--in whatever form it might take.


  1. I've never heard the word vernacular used in such a fashion. You must be referring more in terms of an "architecture" style than anything linguistic.

  2. Yes, I am stretching the architectural term "vernacular," which typically means local building and decoration styles using local materials to meet local needs in a customary way. Houston businesses meet their need to be noticed from the freeway by using inflatables.