Artist's Breath, 1960

"Artist's Breath consists of the remnants of a red balloon tied to a piece of string on which there are two lead seals. These elements are attached to a wooden base to which is also affixed a small metal plaque bearing the artist's name and the title of the work. Originally the balloon was fully inflated with Manzoni's breath but as it deflated the rubber became stuck to the wood underneath. It is now brittle and, in places, very fragile. The string is attached to the base only where it meets the balloon; elsewhere it can be freely moved about and is kept in place only by the weight of the lead seals, which have the name 'Piero Manzoni' punched into them.”

Piero Manzoni produced a lot of work based on provocative and controversial performances. Although he is a fine artist, he proved the importance of packaging and branding in adding value to products that people would want to buy. He actually did sold his balloon filled with his breath fixed on a wooden base at the time and although what’s left of it is a remnant of red balloon tied to a piece of string, the art piece is still valued highly. I just like the way it is presented so simply without a proper package or box that would contain the product. The purchaser also has the option to buy a kit for them to fill the balloon with their own breath or pay extra money for the artist’s breath.

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