What happens when you combine art and travel? You get the worldwide, mobile and inflatable sculpture installation of a talented Miami-based artist, and one of Oceania Cruises’ artists-in-residence, Frank Hyder. Frank’s inflatable sculptures, conceived in 2008 for a group show named “Giants in the City,” found its origins in street and parade art. Janis, the giant two-faced painted head, is about 10 feet tall and is currently sailing aboard Marina with Frank. He first launched the installation aboard Nautica in 2015. This summer, he has been working on an array of colorful watercolors of Janis as the inflatable sculpture travels with him.
Resembling an over-sized childhood toy filled with air, Janis carries a message of equality and good will. Every Janis figure has two faces with two distinct skin colors. As with Janis, humans have many different skin colors but are all equal. All the Janis figures wear face paint, referencing a global human nature to present ourselves in public with a mask or a public persona.
There are currently 13 individual inflatable sculptures in a variety of sizes. They are set up in minutes and during any time of the year. An internal LED lighting system allows for nocturnal installation. Their purpose is to stimulate dialogue about social issues and to ask questions about art in public places.
The Many Sides of Janis
The name derives from Janus, the Roman god of the New Year, which gives us the name of the first month of the year, January. This god had two faces so that he could look forward and backward. To the Romans, this dual gaze represented the moment when something ends, and something else begins; a flash of clarity, reflection and possibility. He had two faces to see the old year passing and the future coming.
The Janis Project has traveled to Africa, Asia, North, South and Central America, and the entire coast of Europe from Istanbul to St. Petersburg – and to many destinations in these regions aboard Oceania Cruises.
Frank has participated in various group shows and solo exhibitions throughout the world, including ten individual exhibitions in New York City. He has been one of the few North American artists to have solo museum exhibitions in Venezuela at the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas Sofia Imber (MACCSI), among many other museums in this country.
The Janis Project continues to travel the world with its growing number of sculptures. Renowned for his unique artwork, Frank invites you to join him in Artist Loft through August 14 aboard Marina, or next year on the Empires & Dynasties voyage from Singapore to Beijing on March 15, 2018 to become inspired and learn new techniques.