Leo Villareal, Sandra Gering. (Courtesy Billy Farrell)

Smaller, But Still Bigger than a Molecule: Leo Villareal Reveals New Buckyball Works

In scientific terms, a buckyball is a molecule resembling a soccer ball that represents a specific carbon form, C60. It was named after Buckminster Fuller. But the New York art world doesn’t care much for things in the scientific realm–that is, unless it can be made into to capital-A Art. And back in 2012, capital-A Artist Leo Villareal seemed to have consulted his old Intro to Chemistry notes for a work called Buckyball—he created a giant model of that very tiny but very essential atomic structure as a public installation in Madison Square Park. Made with hundreds of separate LED light segments that pulsated and changed colors, Buckyball had a memorably hypnotic effect on the passersby.

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