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Bellingham's Karave's Work Featured on A & E

May 27, 2014 10:40AM, Published by Marjorie Turner Hollman, Categories: Community


Bellingham's Dave Karave sculpted a 2-storey interactive baby's head in Austin, TX, then cut it into sections for transport to Blackrock, NV, where he reassembled it for the Burning Man Festival.



If you’re a fan of NBC’s sci-fi show Revolution, you’re enjoying the handiwork of Bellingham native David Karave, who worked as a day player on the production. A special-effects artist and sculptor, Karave grew up in Bellingham and graduated from Bellingham Memorial High School in 1995.

His latest completed project became the subject of a recent A&E Network show called “Flight of the Gigantic Baby Head.” The program focused on the process of transporting a giant sculpture from Karave’s studios in Austin, Texas, where he now lives, to Blackrock City, Nevada, where the sculpture was installed as a prominent feature at the Burning Man Festival. Karave, in a recent interview, talked about the process of building and transporting the giant sculpture and about some of his hopes and dreams for the future.

“The gigantic head was the size of a two-storey house,” Karave said. “It took about the same amount of time to build as it would take to build a small house.” The project was funded by the A&E Network and Burning Man Festival, which commissioned the sculpture. The project received additional support from a Kickstarter campaign. Karave had a crew of about twenty people to help build the sculpture and then reconstruct it in Nevada.

“The sculpture was too big to ship as it was,” Karave explained. “We had to physically slice it and then put the five or six pieces on a massive trailer. When the tarp covered it, it looked like a giant dinosaur. We were concerned about how the sculpture would survive the shipping process. Putting it back together was like fitting together a gigantic jigsaw puzzle.” But everything arrived safely and was a hit at the Burning Man Arts festival.

“It was fun,” Karave said. “The sculpture was interactive. People could enter the head, go inside it and control the eyes and mouth. It was lit up so it was visible at night, and people could see it from miles away.”

But where do you store a sculpture of this size? At least for this project, storage wasn’t a problem. Karave explained, “At the end of the Burning Man Festival, a substantial portion of the art exhibited was burned, including the giant baby head. The festival is about letting go, the temporalness of life.”

 But Karave would love to create another giant baby head. “It was very popular with the children who attended the festival,” he said. “Some places were interested but said they didn’t have room for it. But I could make it smaller, maybe for a children’s museum.”
The artist has hopes for acting roles in the future. He also wants to direct and create amazing special effects. “My goal is that every day I hope to be one step closer to being creative the whole day,” Karave said. “I look at everything with an open mind, both in art and invention. I enjoy passing on that sense of openness.”

When asked what he had learned from his time growing up in Bellingham, Karave immediately cited the time he spent volunteering at the ABMI Cable 8 studios, and the help he received from staff members Patrick Fleming and Steve Saraceno. He explained, “I put the finishing touches on my undergraduate thesis work, a feature-length film called Dream Walking, at the Cable 8 studios, using their equipment. Steve and Patrick were always very supportive of the work I was doing. That film was featured at the RI film festival.”

Karave plans to be back in the area this summer to work on a film project that involves a pirate theme. To see some of Karave’s work, visit his websites, www.crashingart.com or www.kineticchild.comOr you can simply tune into NBC’s show Revolution.


bellingham high bhs dave karave artist austin burning man festival nbc's revolution


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