Throughout our history, Spiegelworld has employed many of the world’s greatest acrobats, singers, comedians, dancers and musicians to perform in our unique shows. With each show, Spiegelworld has also supported our favorite visual artists by commissioning one-off works of art to add to our collection.
Mark Ogge is an Australian artist based in Melbourne. One of his most popular recurring subjects has been the world of circus and amusements parks. Early in his career, Spiegelworld commissioned Mark to paint the large scale Absinthe Archway which greeted guests as they arrived at Spiegelworld’s 2006 debut location at Pier 17, New York City. The mural was designed to reflect the seafaring spirit of the New York harbor setting, complete with Poseidon, mer-people, the Titanic and vaudeville characters. The central kraken (octopus) figure has since become an unofficial symbol of Spiegelworld. In early 2018, Spiegelworld invited Mark to create a painting to commemorate the opening of our new space-themed show Opium at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. “American Dream” explores the myriad of conspiracies that litter the popular American imagination, bringing them all together in a dark Boschian landscape. The painting now hangs in the secret Reliquary at the Opium Theatre.
When Spiegelworld created the ground-breaking dining, show and nightclub experience Vegas Nocturne at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas in 2014, it decided to entertain its restaurant patrons with something special. The Glass Armonica is a rare musical instrument which uses a series of rotating glass bowls of graduated size to produce musical tones by means of friction applied from the player’s wet fingers. The mechanical version of the instrument was invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Few original instruments remain in the world today. Their popularity did not last beyond the 18th century, partly due to rumors that the ethereal, disorienting sound could send both musicians and listeners completely mad. Spiegelworld had its own priceless Armonica constructed by glass-blowers, based on Franklin’s design, and the instrument now sits on display in our Reliquary.
Mark Ogge’s most ambitious commission for Spiegelworld was the Automata, created in 2013. Measuring 240cm wide and 190cm high and constructed from hand-painted card, paper and wood, this coin-operated, fully automated artwork contains twenty moving parts and characters. Once you insert your coin, the mesmerising five minute performance includes music, lighting, acrobats, a fiddle-playing monkey, a penguin and of course, a kraken. First exhibited at the Victorian Arts Centre in Melbourne, the Automata will soon have a permanent home in Las Vegas.
Spiegelworld has long been inspired by the spirit and creativity of the annual Burning Man event held in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada. The week-long happening attracts 70,000 people who celebrate anti-consumerism and radical self-expression. In 2018, Spiegelworld invited fifteen of our favorite performing artists from around the world to create an impromptu show under the banner of the Falzone Family Circus, the remnants of Alfonso Buzukhov’s troubled troupe which last appeared in Las Vegas during Vegas Nocturne. Four free, standing-room-only performances were held inside our inflatable tent with each performer given complete freedom to explore new ideas. The entire week was a work of art – interacting with the artworks and artists all around us, surviving in the desert as a family and contributing an extraordinary entertainment experience to the community.