SALT LAKE CITY — Balloon artist John Reid attempted a new world record last Friday afternoon at Salt Lake Comic Con FanXperience by creating the world's largest balloon sculpture ever made by a single person.
Innovative entertainment was easy to find at FanX, which started Thursday morning and ran through Saturday night at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. But amidst all the commotion, Reid quietly got to work Thursday morning, spending hours upon hours inflating thousands of colored balloons at his booth in the far corner of the expo hall.
The New York native has been working with balloons for 20 years, starting as a 16-year-old who knew how to make "142 animals that looked like a dog." In the past two decades, however, he has moved on to bigger and better accomplishments — much bigger, in this case.
Reid spent 42 hours at FanX putting together a 50-foot-tall balloon robot. The project used 4,302 purple, green, black, gray and white balloons and was so tall that it could not fit upright in the convention center. Eventually, Reid and 10 volunteers were able to reposition the robot and bring it to a kneeling position.
According to Reid, representatives from Record Holders Republic verified that the creation was, indeed, the largest balloon sculpture ever made by a single person. Reid will also have Guinness World Records certify his achievement, but he said that process can take up to three months due to the sheer number of world record submissions that the organization receives each day.
For now, Reid will submit a time-lapse video of his project to Guinness World Records so it can verify that he was the only one who participated and that no cheating of any kind was involved.
After finishing, Reid told the Deseret News that he felt "super overwhelmed" by the experience. "(I'm) really proud and really happy that my friends pushed me harder than I thought I could do," he said.
Reid said that he hopes another artist will eventually outdo him. "I want to hold (the record) for like three or four months," he said. "I hope that somebody else decides to try to take this art a little further and crush me. Trounce me. Wipe the floor with me. I would be honored to have somebody make something even more epic than this."
The finished project was displayed during the convention at the Epic Balloons booth, and FanX attendees were able to take free pictures with the record-setting sculpture.