If you've spent any time wandering the streets of San Francisco, you've likely seen the work of Brian Goggin. The artist is known for putting his creations in unexpected and very public places, with the now-dismantled Defenestration perhaps the most well known example. Goggin recently sat down with KQED News to discus his projects — past and present — and in a video published this week he goes into great detail about his creative process and what inspires him.
Discussing Caruso’s Dream, the 13 metal and glass pianos affixed to the exterior of a SoMa building, he explained his inspiration for the piece. "Caruso’s Dream is 13 glass pianos hanging over a sidewalk with pulsing light dancing through this piano constellation, synced up to the sound of Enrico Caruso’s singing," he notes (thanks to Laughing Squid for the partial transcription). "Caruso had this dream in 1906 when he woke up, right when the earthquake hit. Caruso’s Dream, I imagined, was the image that came to his mind as he was approaching that window."
And quite an image it is.
Googin also spoke about his creative process in general, noting that the movies he loved as a child left a lasting impression. "When I was a kid, I used to watch Fellini films, and I found his vision of what life was like was the one that I wanted to live," he explained. "Defenestration involved hanging 45 pieces of furniture outside of a building as if these pieces of furniture are climbing out of the windows and seeking their own fortune. Language of the Birds was inspired by the flocking patterns of pigeons that fly in the nearby Washington Square Park and between the buildings."
The artist is currently at work on a project titled “Meghalaya” that, when completed, will be installed near a Sacramento-area fire station. You can watch the entire interview below.