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Kinetic Sculpture: Green Art for Los Angeles Business Owners

Los Angeles prides itself on its eco-friendliness. Some of its celebrities are noted as much for their planet-saving efforts as they are for their movie careers, and grocery store clerks assiduously enforce the city's ban on plastic bags.

Kinetic Sculpture. "Orbits," Jeff Kahn. Aluminum, Stainless Steel, Brass. 4' x 2' x 2'
Charles Bartholomew
Kinetic Sculpture. "Three Moons Rising," Jeff Kahn. Aluminum, Stainless Steel. 18' x 7' x 7'
Charles Bartholomew for Jeff Kahn

But, despite its environmentally-protective intentions, LA is a high-wattage, energy-depleting city. It's a town that thrives on attention and many businesses compete for their share by adorning their facades with brilliant light displays or their landscapes with cascading fountains.

Alternative Art Saves Energy and Money

If you're an energy-conscious Los Angeles business owner who wants to put your store, health center, entertainment complex or other enterprise in the spotlight without depleting natural resources or incurring exorbitant utility expenses, there's an alternative you may not have considered:

Outdoor kinetic sculptures.

If you think of sculptures as unmoving pieces of metal or marble, think again. Wind-powered kinetic sculptures are in near-constant motion, creating a limitless number of designs. They dazzle without cost to the environment or expense to business owners. And electricity is expensive in Los Angeles -- more than 60 percent higher than the national average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Sculptures Dance in the Wind

Jeff Kahn, a kinetic sculptor, says his creations consume no energy and actually serve as a natural fan. Composed of stainless steel, aluminum and titanium, the sculptures' artistic appendages propel gentle breezes and can withstand Santa Ana winds and heavy rain storms.

And they provide endless visual theatrics, dancing in myriad designs as directed by wind currents. Kahn's current kinetic sculpture collection, titled "Unseen Forces," includes 30-foot-high pieces that could turn any Los Angeles business into a dramatic landmark.

The sculptures include more than 100 parts, which provide unlimited movement and make these works of art easy to ship to LA from Kahn's studio in rural Pennsylvania.

"It takes months to create these kinetic sculptures, but any decent handyman could assemble one on a Saturday afternoon," says Kahn. Kahn adds that he's so confident of the construction and durability of his sculptures that he backs them with a lifetime guarantee.

Kinetic Sculptures Challenge the Law of Gravity

Kahn's kinetic sculptures are the culmination of a multi-faceted career as a jewelry designer, furniture maker and machinist. He also built a house on a 20-foot cliff, which inspired him to create art that "explores balance and gravity and the way wind currents interact with them." Gravity naturally makes things fall down. Kahn was inspired to find a way to use gravity to make things stay up.

Kahn's work has been commissioned by iconic denim designer Gloria Vanderbilt and American broadcast journalist Forrest Sawyer and exhibited in the Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The New York Botanical Garden and the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

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