Crystal Wagner

The Völklingen Ironworks flooded in red light
Copyright: Weltkulturerbe Völklinger Hütte | Oliver Dietze

Chrystal Wagner

Chrystal Wagner
Copyright: Chrystal-Wagner

Born in 1982 in Baltimore, USA
Lives and works in Los Angeles, USA



Iris Elementum

Crystal Wagner iris elementum front

Crystal Wagner iris elementum front
Copyright: Crystal Wagner


2022, in situ


Diameter 91,4 cm


Paper, acrylic, wood


Iris Elementum, the work created by the American Crystal Wagner for the Urban Art Biennale 2022, is an origami sculpture as a microcosm—garishly colorful, deliberately artificial and commercial, in a kind of aquarium or artificial atmosphere. Which also evokes—to reverse the perspective—the field of vision in an astronaut’s or deep-sea diver’s helmet. Or an eye. In art, as we know, everything is not only in the eye of the beholder, as the somewhat hackneyed adage goes, but in the eye of the artist. “Exotic flora and fauna, micro- and macro-organisms and the entire rhizomatic growth of all living things” as a “natural (form) language” create the source of inspiration for Wagner’s structures and textures. On these, the former art professor, who has moved on from teaching, makes her plants thrive. What functions like digital graphic explosions is hand-crafted down to the very last detail. Cell structures and tissue intertwine in Wagner’s installations, in so doing forming entities that are seemingly mutating energetically. In the graffiti genre, you’d probably call this “Wild Style.”