Photos: There's A Cool Rainbow Of Yarn Over A Santa Monica Bridge
A beautiful rainbow of yarn appeared on top of a Santa Monica pedestrian bridge overnight, but the guerrilla art installation may not last for long.
Over 1,180 strands of yarn in around 14 different colors were used to create Migration, a public art installation that covers the top of the pedestrian bridge that spans PCH close to Santa Monica Blvd. and Broadway. The ephemeral installation was created by the Minneapolis-based street artist Hot Tea—aka Eric Rieger—with the help of fellow artists and volunteers. Rieger is known for his colorful installations and yarn work, which have appeared around L.A., in New York and across the country.
Installed overnight, Migration has already been dazzling beachgoers and commuters passing over and under the bridge, but there's a chance the unauthorized installation could be taken down by the city or unraveled by time and passersby before long.
Beginning Monday night around 8 p.m., Rieger and friends painstakingly tied pre-cut lengths of yarn connecting the tops of the bridge's chain-link fences that run along both sides. The strings are spaced out roughly one inch apart. The colors begin with a deep purple on the side closest to Palisades Park and then transition through the spectrum of the rainbow with shades of red, pink, orange, yellow, green and blue as the installation makes its way over to the beach-side of the bridge. Rieger anticipated that the project would take the entire night to complete, but with the help of a speedy assistant and friends, the work went much more quickly, ending at around 3 a.m. He tells LAist that he surprised himself with how well the project—which he first envisioned two years ago on another visit to L.A.—actually turned out, "It doesn't always happen where the actual piece itself turns out better than what you imagined. You just have to see it in person."
Rieger chose to install Migration along the pedestrian bridge for the amount of foot traffic it receives and the severity of the bridge's arch, which provides multiple vantage points to see the artwork. Rieger explains, "Most pedestrian bridges are either flat or have a little bit of arch, but this one you can also see from above because there's a stairwell that goes up to a hill on one side, and on the other side you have the beach. So, you have all these different vantage points, which really intrigued me." He also enjoys seeing so many people of all ages crossing over the heavily-trafficked bridge everyday—not to mention the drivers below—who have the opportunity to see it. "I just love seeing people interact with my pieces."
Rieger admits that there's no particular meaning behind the installation's colors; he just enjoys bringing as much color as he can to spaces where he works. The Migration title, on the other hand, does reflect the collaborative, creative efforts of this project as he worked with other artists just as animals migrate in a group, "We're taking a journey together, creating something together, and while we're making it, it's bringing us closer together."
When it comes to the temporal nature of a guerrilla art installation—like others around town—that could be pulled down by the city, individuals tugging at it or the natural effects of time, Rieger takes a zen-like approach. "It's a part of my work that I've come to accept," Rieger explains. "It motivates me to keep creating more and more work because they don't last for very long—a couple days or a week at the most for installations like this. After that it will be gone, and that will inspire me to find a new location to work in."