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No Swimming - 12-foot Shark Fin Installed at SAP Center

Art work from Burning Man

Post Date:10/25/2019 1:58 PM

Just in time for the launch of hockey season, our Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project unveiled the stunning artwork No Swimming, by South Bay artist Oleg Lobykin. Placed in front of the SAP center, at 525 West Santa Clara Street, No Swimming will be installed as a tribute to our Sharks from September 19, 2019 to April 4, 2020. This artwork is the sixth artwork to be installed as part of the Playa to Paseo partnership between the Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project to site temporary artworks throughout San José.  No Swimming is a 12-foot tall shark fin with an aluminum leaf finish. 

 As a classically trained master stone carver, artist Oleg Lobykin is interested in how these contradictions can take shape in physical form. Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, and now a resident of Silicon Valley, he views acceleration of cutting-edge technological progress with optimism and concern. No Swimming is reminder that even as humans increasingly dominate nature, we are still a part of it.

No Swimming marks the continuation of the three-year partnership between the Office of Cultural Affairs and Burning Man Project to bring artworks from the annual Burning Man event to San José. Previous artworks showcased through the series include the high-energy light installation Sonic Runway, the whimsical penny-bear Ursa Mater, the contemplative mechanical female figure Tara Mechani, and the monumental letter installations XO and HaHa, No Swimming debuts in San José on the eve of the traveling exhibition organized by the Smithsonian, “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man,” which opens at the Oakland Museum of California on October 12, 2019 and runs through February 16, 2020. 

No Swimming provides an important message for all of us about the need for environmental stewardship. Also, San José loves sharks and siting this iconic artwork at the Shark Tank will deepen our connection to San José – and instill a joyful pride of place,” says Director of Cultural Affairs Kerry Adams Hapner.  “We invite people to come enjoy No Swimming and take a picture with the artwork.”

 “Supporting public art reflects our commitment to providing memorable experiences to everyone in the community,” says Doug Bentz, Sharks VP of Marketing & Digital. “We believe in being Teal Together and that means bringing people together. Public art, and the No Swimming sculpture in particular, helps us accomplish this belief. The installation will be a landmark that all members of our community, especially Sharks fans, can be proud of and engage with. Oleg’s fin is a great addition for the city and SAP Center.”

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Oleg Lobykin now resides in Silicon Valley and specializes in the restoration of landmark architecture and sculpture. While Lobykin’s roots are in traditional stone carving, he considers himself “an international man and product of globalization.” He defies labels and strives to show how old and new, timeless and contemporary, familiar and unexpected elements can combine to reveal hidden truths. His work explores connections between what is known and emerging insights about the nature of life. He is a sculptor interested in conceptual art and likes to use modern tools and technology as an opportunity to reach new heights. In addition to creating work for Burning Man, Lobykin exhibits in the Bay Area and has completed projects in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Japan. Clients have included Stanford University, The Presidio Trust, The City of Cupertino, The City of San José, Cathedral Stoneworks Inc, The Denver Public Library, Yale University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Cloisters), The Cathedral Church St. John the Divine, The Jewish Museum NYC, and Alabama Limestone Co., as well as artists and architects.

 The partnership between Burning Man Project and the City of San José is intended to call forth to the San José community and invite participation in imagining the way that art can invigorate public spaces across San José’s 180-square-mile landscape.  Burning Man Project, a nonprofit organization, produces the annual Burning Man event in Black Rock City, and works year-round to extend and facilitate the culture that has grown from the event into the larger world. Burning Man Project provides inspiration, connection, education, and grants to a creative ecosystem of builders, makers, artists, and community leaders. Its work spans six interconnected program areas: Art, Education, Civic Involvement, Culture, Philosophical Center, and Social Enterprise. An ever-growing global network supports and furthers these efforts in 44 U.S. states and 37 countries around the world.

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