Acrobática Art Swoon

Nimbus’ Larger Cousin Arrives

Nickole Kerner Bobley

Aug 06, 2018

This trompe l’oeil styled sculpture, like an acrobat, gives a startling performance involving great complexity.

Is Acrobática, the impressive new geometrical sculpture located diagonally from the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Hughes Landing, playing a trick on you?  

Yes—it sure is! This transformative sculpture by internationally renowned Venezuelan-born artist Rafael Barrios delights in deceiving you—it was designed to do so!

Acrobática is constructed of stainless steel and acrylic lacquer and stands nearly 10 feet tall by 14 feet wide and clocks-in at 1,760 pounds! This trompe l’oeil styled sculpture, like an acrobat, gives a startling performance involving great complexity. From a distance, the piece appears to be a 3-dimensional stack of thick cobalt blue wood blocks delicately balanced on one another. However, as you get closer to the art work you realize you are looking at 2-dimensional flat steel pieces with ever-so-slight curvatures that form shallow concave areas. This is what tricks your eyes! Then, as if that wasn’t wild enough, as you walk around Acrobática to view it from 2 of its sides, suddenly the whole gigantic hypnotizing doohickey goes pancake thin! Wha?!

If you do a double take (and look like a bird doing a head isometric while doing it!) to see Acrobática from its front and side angles again…you are not alone! Everyone is scratching their head, cleaning their glasses and pondering the magic felt here. 

This wonderful sculptural salute to optics and perception can also be seen in Acrobática’s smaller cousin, Nimbus, who lives on a pedestal in the lobby of The Westin at The Woodlands Hotel in Waterway Square® (these types of eye-hostage-hijinks clearly run in the family!).

Acrobática is the 6thpiece of public outdoor art to be placed in Hughes Landing, joining Wind Waves by Yvonne Domenge, Dream It Do It and International Waters by John Runnels, Fenris Glacier, Karale Glacier and Midgard Glacier by Julie Speidel, Firefly by John Clement (in front of Three Hughes Landing) and the Hughes Landing Bandshell behind Restaurant Row which serves as a performance stage delineator as well as a piece of art itself. 

Wind Waves by Yvonne Domenge 
Dream It Do It and International Waters by John Runnels
Fenris Glacier, Karale Glacier and Midgard Glacier by Julie Speidel 
Firefly by John Clement 
Hughes Landing Bandshell

The Woodlander encourages you to meet the impish Acrobática, visit its primary-hued sculptural friend and let us know which Hughes Landing public art is your favorite. 

Acrobática is located at the intersection of Hughes Landing Boulevard and Constellation Point Drive.