Artist Mike Kelley Recreates the Bottle City of Kandor Without Terrorizing the Galaxy
Since its first appearance at the dawn of the Silver Age in 1958, the Bottle City of Kandor has been one of the most memorable elements of the Superman mythos, functioning as both a link to Superman’s home planet and a reminder that no matter what he does, he can’t bring the world of Krypton back. But while its presence has been a constant, its appearance, rendered by dozens of artists over the past 53 years, has changed wildly, something that sculptor Mike Kelley used as the basis for “Kandors,” a series of statues encased in hand-blown glass that depict ten different versions of the Kryptonian bottle city.Kelley’s sculptures are featured in a new book of the same name, but according to the New York Times, the work began in 1999 as Kelley chronicling “an out-of-date image of the future,” but with over ten years and ten completely different takes on the same idea, it seems more about how the nature of fiction, and even memories, can change over time.
The sculpture above, for instance, is based on one of the classic images of Krypton, which also serves as the basis for its appearance on this week’s Batman: The Brave and the Bold…
…but that’s hardly the definitive version. Over the years, Kandor has been everything from the sprawling crystal city that would become New Krypton to, on a map in Superman Annual #1, a strange cross between a carnival midway and a bridge:
It doesn’t look like that one made the cut, though. Either way, Kelley’s versions make for some amazing visuals:
In addition to the book, the sculptures have been exhibited in Los Angeles and New York, but presumably now that that’s over, they’ll finally be used for what I assume was their original intended purpose: Superman’s birthday present from Wonder Woman.
Just… nobody mention he’s already got one, okay?
(via Robot 6)