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Ralfonso Delivers Powerful and Imaginative Interactive, Kinetic Public Art

In February, 2013, Boynton Beach convened the first International Kinetic Art Symposium.  With artists around the world pushing the boundaries of static art, The Rickie Report is pleased to bring you an interview with Ralfonso.  Based in West Palm Beach, FL Ralfonso travels the world installing new and innovative kinetic sculptures. This kinetic master will participate in a number of public forums during Art Synergy/Art Palm Beach.  The Rickie Report urges you to hear him.  More details are in this article.

Art Synergy and Art Palm Beach





Ralfonso (14)

Innovator and artist, Ralfonso brought the First International Kinetic Art Exhibit & Symposium to Boynton Beach, FL in 2013.  The Second will take place in 2015, but in between you will have a number of opportunities to meet and hear this visionary!  The Rickie Report interviewed Ralfonso and shares his story here.

Ralfonso (13)
Kinetic Art Organization Founder and International kinetic artist, Ralfonso, will  showcase his art projects and the installation of iconic artwork global. He will also review his kinetic art curriculum for several Universities in China. Kinetic artist, Rein Triefeldt, will share his Solar Tree learning base educational program that he is implementing in the Central Charter School, Fort Lauderdale, FL. Boynton Beach’s Public Art Manager, Debby Coles-Dobay, will present the videos from the 2013 International Kinetic Art Exhibit and Symposium and review the programming for the 2015 Symposium.
  • January 24, 2014,  7:00 pm – 1:00 am at  ARTal’FRESCO, ArtPalmBeach satellite exhibition at Boynton Beach Arts District.  Preview of  2015 International Kinetic Art Exhibit Symposium at the Boynton Beach Art in Public Places booth
  • January 26, 2014,  2:00 pm at  ArtPalmBeach, West Palm Beach Convention Center, “Kinetic Sculptures – Art in Motion” Our panelists are Rein Triefeldt, Ralfonso Gschwend and Debby Coles-Dobay.       


  • January 29, 2014,  1:30 p.m.- 2:30 p.m.  Boynton Beach Art in Public Places will present, “Kinetic Art, Year in Review” at the City Library, 208 South Seacrest Boulevard, Boynton Beach, FL


Ralfonso (7)

Meet Ralfonso


TRR:        Were you artistically inclined as a child?

No, I was never good at hand drawing or painting – only with the help of the computer can I explain and translate my 3 dimensional moving (and usually fairly complex) kinetic sculptures.
Ralfonso (9)

TRR:    What and who were your early influences in artistic expression?


I love the intersection of art, design and mechanics!   Perhaps being Swiss, I am drawn to clean mechanical design – and I am mostly inspired by Nature – see my Bird of Paradise, Evolution, Magic Tree, etc.
Unlike many artists, who first start with smaller sculptures, exhibit in galleries and museums and then start to create art for public places, my story is somewhat in reverse. I started with very large to monumental sculptures for public places, – and only now begin to make smaller versions for private commissions.
Ralfonso (15)

TRR:   What made you come to the United States and earn a degree in finance?


I have always wanted to be an artist, but it was clear to me early on, that in my art and creative endeavors, I wanted to be free from financial pressures.  So it made sense to me to first get a business education (Wharton MBA, 1985).  Then to succeed in business, which provided the critical resources of time and money (in that order…)  and then be able to create freely, without major financial stress.
Ralfonso, "G Rings"

Ralfonso, “G Rings”

TRR:      Can you share one of your earliest designs with us?


One of the early public designs in 2001 was the Wind Rings, later renamed G-Rings, which are still being exhibited in various exhibitions.  It was recently seen in “Mouvement et Luminiere” in Marcigny, France. It functions similar to a gyroscope and rotates on multiple axis in the wind.

Ralfonso, "Early Design of G Ring"

TRR:   Many artists dream of becoming world famous.  You have not only brought fame to your artistry, but also developed a mindset of international cooperation.  How did you go about creating this synergy?


My passion in life is Kinetic Art! With this passion, as president from its inception, I co-founded the Kinetic Art Organization (KAO) in 2001 with a two fellow Kinetic Artist. Now, with more than 1,000 members in over 60 Countries around the world we are very proud to be the largest Kinetic Art Organization in the world.
I want to share my passion particularly with young people, so we focus a lot on STEAM, a fairly new educational approach, where Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math meet.  Our 2 day Symposium in Boynton Beach in 2013 was very focused on this, with great speakers from the fields of art, engineering, architecture.  We are working on an even much more comprehensive Symposium for the 2015 Event.
To increase awareness for Kinetic Art and STEAM, I am honored to be invited to teach the very first Kinetic Art graduate course in China at the famed Tsinghua University in Beijing, China . As a kinetic artist, I work with engineering and computer science graduate students and classes around the world, such at the ETH in Switzerland, the NHL in the Netherlands, to develop “bleeding edge” interactive public art concepts, that involve communicating and changing the art via Internet, SMS and Smartphones from all around the world.
Ralfonso (5)

TRR:  Can you take us through the steps from when you conceive an initial design to the sculpture being installed?


Normally an art consultant or architect, or sometimes the owner/developer approaches me for a custom and site specific commission.  This is mostly in the public realm but sometimes for a private collector. I analyze the site, materials, sight lines, and massing, wind conditions, as well as the demographics (who will see and interact with the public art, who are the stakeholders, etc.) and then design a unique – and hopefully iconic landmark specifically for this site.
Also, sometimes I still compete in international competitions, such as the City of Orlando competition – where I am now finishing fabrication for a large group of six 26 foot tall wind and computer light sculptures – or the State of Alaska, where I am currently a finalist for the $500,000 UAA – University of Anchorage, Alaska commission.
ExoCentric Metal #2 was commissioned for the 5 story main elevator lobby of the Union Square development in Kowloon - Hong Kong by MTR Limited. Now it is called ELEMENTS MALL.

ExoCentric Metal #2 was commissioned for the 5 story main elevator lobby of the Union Square development in Kowloon – Hong Kong by MTR Limited. Now it is called ELEMENTS MALL.

TRR: Is there anything else you want to tell our readers?


I very strongly feel that ideally Public Art should be an interactive experience, where both viewer and the public sculpture can together determine what happens next.  



Ad Infinitum

“Ad Infinitum”


It should not be a passive, static and unilateral viewing of a static object, but an ever changing INTERACTIVE dialogue and dynamic experience between the art and the viewer – who now is an active participant.


"Moving Up"

“Moving Up”



My recent installations of the 20 foot tall EX STRATA at Universities in both Beijing and the Netherlands are examples of such interactive Light, Internet, SMS and Sound sculptures, which change according to the actions of the viewer, locally and around the world!


"Ex Strata"

“Ex Strata”

Please see the short 3 minute movie about these two interactive sculptures here:  which we want to connect via Internet in 2014, so the students at both Universities can send Sound and Light signals to each other J


For more information about Ralfonso’s Kinetic, Light & Interactive Sculptures – see his website or see several movies of his Art in Action at  and visit LLC  Kinetic, Interactive & Light Sculptures for  Public Places  301 Clematis Street, #3000  W. Palm Beach, Fl 33401, USA   T.   +1 561 655 2745.  For more information about the Kinetic Art Symposium, lectures or Boynton Beach Arts events please contact  Debby Coles-Dobay, Public Arts ManagerCity Manager’s Office, Art in Public Places  City of Boynton Beach  100 E. Boynton Beach Blvd.  Boynton Beach, FL 33435  561-742-6026  |  | 



For coverage of your events, to place an advertisement, or speak to Rickie about appearing in The Rickie Report, contact The Rickie Report at:

Rickie Leiter, Publisher

The Rickie Report

P.O.Box 33423

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33420


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