“Superplexus Vortex (#1)” was my first formalized Giant Superplexus. Although a 48″ diameter foamcore model of “Superplexus Circles” was already built, my desire was to create a unique and overtly complex new design for the private collector who commissioned this new piece. The collector came to me after having played endlessly with the Perplexus game (though what he actually had was an original Superplexus, from Tiger/Hasbro).
We met for lunch at Jalisco Mexican Food, across the street from Santa Rosa JC. Discussed was the concept for the exhibit and the desires of the collector. He wanted to make it clear that I was the artist, with complete design and aesthetic freedom. We agreed to some rules, limitations, a due date, payment schedule, and basic dimensions. I was to build within a 36″ sphere, supported by a gimbal. The internal structure would be numbered to delineate play. I maintained the intellectual property, with reproduction rights as desired. The collector offered to free the piece for exhibition whenever needed.
Sight unseen, the collector trusted my artistic sense and personal integrity. He took a risk, which was of great value to me. The cost was limited by his budget, but that was all I needed to get started. In the end, I received no actual income, barely recovering expenses only because my friend James Yonts VOLUNTEERED over 100 hours to help build it.
Superplexus Vortex (#1) was commissioned as part of an exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. The show, entitled “INTERSECTIONS: Puzzles As Art”, was curated by George Miller and Nancy Mintz, and ran from June 19 to August 16, 2009. The Vortex piece barely made it to the show! I made the finishing touches at midnight, the night before the exhibit opened. That's what happens when it takes 400 hours to produce my first formal piece! Now that I know the time commitment, I am more prepared.
With a very limited budget, I purchased two sets of 36″ (91.44 cm) acrylic domes from Complex Plastics.