This Museum Has A Rainbow On Display & It's An Act Of Subversion

#Plexus35 at night. #toledomuseumofart #oldmasters #GabrielDawe

A photo posted by Gabriel Dawe (@gabrieldawe) on


If you go to Ohio's Toledo Museum Of Art, you'll see a rainbow. But it's not the work of mother nature, it's all Gabriel Dawe.

The Mexican artist's Plexus no. 35 is an indoor rainbow that was created out of thread that has been hooked from ceiling to floor in an overlay pattern. It's an optical illusion that, depending where you stand and where the light hits it, can look completely different.

The piece, which will be on display until January 22, 2017, was made specifically for the museum and is the result of precise planning by Dawe. "These ethereal indoor rainbows prompt us to examine public spaces in a new, fantastical light," the Toledo Museum of Art wrote.
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Dawe has been making these site-specific rainbow installations since 2010. They've been on display in the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and one can currently be seen in the San Antonio International Airport.

On his website, the artist says his work "is centered in the exploration of textiles, aiming to examine the complicated construction of gender and identity in his native Mexico and attempting to subvert the notions of masculinity and machismo prevalent in the present day."

Dawe told Smithsonian Magazine that when he was little, he wanted to learn how to embroider like his grandmother, but the other kids made fun of him. Even his grandmother believed sewing was for girls. Now, Dawe's work made with thread, plays with gender stereotypes, and acts as a tribute to his grandmother.

Dawe told the magazine that he chose to call the series Plexus because "it refers to the connection of the body with its environment, but it also relates directly to the intricate network of threads forming the installation itself, and to the inherent tension in the thread, vibrating with an almost tangible luminosity."

The point is to be in awe of this work, just like you are of an actual rainbow.

“When you see a rainbow in nature, you get a glimpse of the order that exists behind nature,” Dawe told the magazine. “There are certain laws of physics working behind that.”

My view while installing #Plexus35. #workinprogress #toledomuseumofart #gabrieldawe #oldmasters #Rubens #Guercino

A photo posted by Gabriel Dawe (@gabrieldawe) on

Starting week 2 of installing #Plexus35. #workinprogress #toledomuseumofart #gabrieldawe

A photo posted by Gabriel Dawe (@gabrieldawe) on

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