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Midnight Moment Continues in Times Square With Projection Napping

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Optical Animal is a Brooklyn based digital arts collective, directing and producing works of new media, cinema, video art, and audio. Their series Projection Napping is an ongoing site-specific video installation project that started in 2016. A play on the term “projection mapping” (the process of projecting and aligning content onto an irregular surface), the series features footage of sleeping people, projected at massive scale and seemingly nestled neatly into the architecture of urban buildings. Past exhibits have occurred in New York City, Berlin, and Rome.

In Times Square, a new, site-specific iteration of Projection Napping (2020) offers a shared moment of respite in a city that has long prided itself on “never sleeping.” Amidst the backdrop of the city, a cast of New Yorkers snooze soundly or struggle to find comfortable positions, their bodies curled into the corners of the video frame as if they live within the confines of each space.

Optical Animal has created a special multi-channel version of Projection Napping for the particular dimensions of each of the digital displays that participate in the Midnight Moment program. These intimate portraits appear larger than life on the electronic billboards, juxtaposing private experiences with public exhibition, and suggesting hidden moments within the buildings behind the screens.

The creation of the piece was interrupted by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, with the lockdown in NYC forcing the production to be put on hold mid-way. Some of the initial concepts and strategies for how to film the rest of the piece needed to be rethought and redesigned in order to safely adhere to the new normal of production in NYC.

“The concept for Projection Napping grew out of a desire to locate a more human, and more interpersonal realm for the medium of projection mapping. Building off of a play on words, the project dives into an exploration of sleep, and the line we draw between private and public space. The piece also takes on new meaning in light of the changes happening in society as a result of the pandemic — attesting to our common experience and holding a light to the curative power of stillness and rest. We invite the audience to contemplate sleep as a universal, basic need shared by all living creatures, and to celebrate the pure joy that is, and always will be, taking a nap.”

Optical Animal is a Brooklyn based digital arts collective founded by creative duo JR Skola and Max Nova. Since 2008, they have found a home in creating unique experiences that employ new ideas and technology, while remaining firmly rooted in the ancient human love for storytelling. Optical Animal has presented video and projection art at events and festivals around the world including Mutek IMG in Montreal, Art Basel in Miami, Adelaide Festival in Australia, NXNW in Toronto, and the Westbeth Gallery in New York City. Work by Optical Animal has been commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art, the New World Symphony, Microsoft, Intel, Sony, Calvin Klein, Christian Louboutin, and the New York Times, among others.

Named after a vision his father had in a sweat lodge, Max Coyote Nova has been telling stories since childhood. In addition to creating both narrative and abstract video artwork, Nova composes and performs classical piano music and dabbles in quantum physics as a hobby. Nova is also professor of “Live Video Performance Art” at New York University.

JR Skola’s take on filmmaking as an outlet for design and composition is what led him to the world of experimental cinema, and the subsequent co-founding of Optical Animal. These days he is occupied largely by the exploration of analog materials and processes, their relation to a spirit of simplification, and their relevance in the ongoing evolution of AI and interactive technology.

Suzanna, co-owns and publishes the newspaper Times Square Chronicles or T2C. At one point a working actress, she has performed in numerous productions in film, TV, cabaret, opera and theatre. She has performed at The New Orleans Jazz festival, The United Nations and Carnegie Hall. She has a screenplay and a TV show in the works, which she developed with her mentor and friend the late Arthur Herzog. She is a proud member of the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle and was a nominator. Email: suzanna@t2conline.com

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Times Square Chronicles Presents Artist and Innovator Roger Sichel

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Photographer, artist and festival producer, Roger Sichel’s prolific creative experience spans generations and genres. From creating one of New York’s first erotic film festivals with judges Andy Warhol, Gore Vidal and Milos Forman to producing rock concerts with the Doors, Four Seasons and Isaac Hayes nationwide, Roger identifies most as a cultural observer and photographic journalist. His work is at this years Coachella and on the Moon.

T2C had a chance to talk to this prolific artist.

Sichel has now entered the next phase of his artistic career and is choosing to explore neo-pop mixed media, inspired by his own life, as well as current events, while simultaneously preserving the legacy of his work in photojournalism.

You can catch us on the following platforms:

Pandora:

https://www.pandora.com/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/PC:1001084740

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/show/1084740

Spotify:

Amazon:

https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/e3ac5922-ada8-4868-b531-12d06e0576d3

Apple Podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/live-from-the-edison-hotel-times-square-chronicles-presents/id1731059092

 

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Bonnie Comley, ART TO WARE and ChaShaMa Present Nothing to Wear

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Until April 30th Bonnie Comley, ART TO WARE and ChaShaMa Present Nothing to Wear in Port Authority’s 41st Street building.

Bonnie Comley and Anita Durst

Bonnie is a three-time Tony Award-winning producer. She has, also, won an Olivier Award and two Drama Desk Awards for her stage productions. She is on the Board President of The Drama League as well as a full member of The Broadway League and the Audience Engagement and Education Committee.

Nothing to Wear

Comley has produced over 40 films, winning five Telly Awards and one W3 Award. She is the founder and CEO of BroadwayHD, the world’s premier online streaming platform delivering over 300 premium live productions to theatre fans globally. Now she is an artist presenting her work at ART TO WARE (A2W) a wearable Art Gallery that curates up-cycled, hand-made, one-of-a-kind statement pieces to be seen, loved and taken home!

Bonnie Comley and Lelie Ware

Founded in 2021 by Lesley Ware, this Black-owned and women-run small business carries small-batch, socially conscious, up-cycled, and locally-made wearables and gifts. A2W curates an environment of creativity, acceptance, and collaboration within a dynamic retail setting that showcases the work of artists, designers, and creative visionaries.

Making this all happen is ChaShaMa and Anita Durst who helps create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive world by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate. Currently, they present 150 events a year, have workspace for 120 artists, and have developed 80 workshops in under served communities. They award 11 million worth of real estate to artists, subsidizes 300 artist work spaces, provide over 215 free art classes, gives 200 artists free space to present and upport over 75 businesses with free space.

Nothing to Wear is a provocative look at our relationship with our clothing choices as it pertains to our self image, fast fashion and textile waste. It challenges the fashion industry to create an alternative to current business models and the global appetite for consumption and asks viewers to question dress codes like the current policing of women in political office.

Jose Febrillet from Port Authority

 

 

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16 Year Old Artist Henri Reed’s Debut Exhibition at Lux Contemporary

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Lux Contemporary, the newest Chelsea gallery adjacent to Rolls Royce New York, will launch “Henri’s World,” a new solo exhibition by 16-year-old LA-based emerging artist, Henri Reed, on view from Friday, April 19th –  Sunday, May 19th at 270 11th Avenue in New York.

The gallery’s owner and renowned celebrity art dealer, Emanuel Friedman, will host an Invite-only artist reception on Thursday, April 18th from 5pm – 8pm. Expected attendees will include a selection of celebrities and pro athletes, who are collectors of Henri’s works.

Henri, who has already created buzz across the country with collectors in L.A., N.Y., Chicago and Miami, including Babyface, will also make his New York City debut as the featured artist at the New York International Auto Show at the Javits Center, where he has created “Year of the Draggin.” More than a painting, the work serves as a tribute to the thrill of drag racing and the spirited culture surrounding it, set in the Year of the Dragon.

Named to honor the enduring appeal of drag racing, this piece captures the essence of a timeless passion. While it fits into a show centered around cars, its significance goes beyond any specific moment in time. Instead, it invites viewers to experience the exhilaration of speed and competition, regardless of when they encounter it. As one admires “Year of the Draggin,” they’re not just looking at a painting—they’re feeling the pulse of a culture that spans generations. And while its creation may be rooted in a particular year, its impact promises to resonate far into the future, leaving viewers to wonder which era of drag racing it truly represents. The work will be spotlighted at the Manhattan Motor Cars booth, spotlighting all the biggest exotic brands like Rimac, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, Bentley, Porsche, Lamborghini and more.

The “Henri’s World” exhibit will take over Lux Contemporary’s gallery space, highlighting over a dozen impactful, large-scale canvases and wood works. The young artist’s highlighted works will include Completa, a work made of two weathered planks of wood that were lying around for weeks in Henri’s studio. He knew he wanted to use them and brought them together, aligning them side by side. With pencil in hand, he began to sketch, treating them not as separate entities but as a unified whole. This piece quickly became the artist’s favorite in the collection. Its significance extends beyond mere materiality, reflecting a profound truth about human connections. When we view others as individuals, we may see only their vulnerabilities. But when we come together, our collective strengths shine forth, overshadowing our weaknesses. “Completa” embodies this essence—the beauty of unity, the power of togetherness.

High on Heels, a depiction of the timeless bond between a loyal canine and its skeletal walker, going beyond life and death. The dog’s love and loyalty shine through, while the walker’s bones remind us of life’s fleeting nature. Yet, together, they show us that love can endure forever. One Million Dollar, a recreation of the dollar bill with a Henri spin pays homage to his brother with his favorite color being green and his birthday spotlighted within the piece. On April 17th, Henri will also be appearing as the featured artist at the New York Stock Exchange’s private gallery collection. He is the youngest artist to be shown in the gallery. The collection is curated by world-famous trader and extensive collector, the “Einstein of Wall Street”, Peter Tuchman. The NYSE’s gallery is seen by world leaders, business titans and foreign dignitaries.

“I paint with shadows and whispers, leaving clues for those who dare to decipher the riddles hidden in plain sight,” said Henri.

Henri’s artistic career began at the age of 14 when he found an old wooden crate in his family’s garage and asked his father if he could use it. Before his parents returned from their dinner that evening, Henri had dismantled the crate and finished an original piece using materials from around the house.  A local collector saw a photo of the piece on Henri’s Instagram and immediately commissioned Henri for a new piece for his own home.  Within the next week, Henri began selling artwork to collectors, including Hollywood celebrities, music stars, and business leaders.

In February 2024, Henri was signed by New York City’s Lux Contemporary Gallery, which has featured works by Banksy, KAWS, Daniel Arsham, Brendan Murphy, Mr. Brainwash, Enrique Cabrera, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jonty Hurwitz, Robert Indiana, Jeff Koons, Robert Longo, Takashi Murakami, King Saladeen and Hunt Slonem. Henri is the first emerging artist that the gallery has represented.

Henri’s World will be on view from Friday, April 19th – Sunday, May 19th at Lux Contemporary at 270 11th Avenue in NY, adjacent to Rolls Royce New York.

Exhibition hours are Mondays -Saturday: 10 AM – 7 PM; Sunday: Closed and by appointment.

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Playwright Mario Fratti’s Art for Sale

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Paintings and illustrations from the art collection of the Broadway show “Nine’s” playwright and critic Mario Fratti is for sale at Jadite Gallery on 10th Avenue.

Fratti was not just a playwright, educator and theater critic with the OCC and Drama Desk, but an art collector.

Fratti was born in L’Aquila, Italy on July 5, 1927. In 1962, he presented his one-act play Suicido at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto and Lee Strasberg, a guest of the festival, was impressed by his work and invited him to stage it at the Actors Studio. He moved to New York in Hell’s Kitchen in 1963 and worked as a professor at Columbia University and Hunter College, where he was named Professor Emeritus of Italian Literature. Fratti is best known for writing the adaptation of Federico Fellini’s and further developing the musical NINE with Maury Yeston, that opened in 1982 and went on to win five Tony Awards.  Mario died last year at the age of 95.

The exhibit and sales at Jadite Gallery, follows the auction of some of Fratti’s collection. The most expensive piece is on diplay in the gallery’s window, Homage to Mario Fratti by Italian artist David Grazioso  $750. “Prices range from $75—the average is around $200. The sale of these pieces will fund the transposition and translation of newly discovered manuscripts.

Artwork from the Collection of Mario Fratti is on show at Jadite Gallery at 660 10th Avenue (between W46/47th St) until April 13. Opening hours are noon-6pm Tuesday to Saturday.

The art has been entrusted to trusted friend Roland Sainz and Jadite Gallery by renowned theater director and his daughter Valentina.

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Midnight Moment Presents Life Forms

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Each midnight this April, Times Square’s screens become a portal into New York-based artist Tricia McLaughlin’s Life Forms, a humorous fantasy world filled with hard working mutant creatures who toil around the clock constructing an endless city. As these glassy-eyed creatures called “Phantasmachina” mount buildings and scale sidewalks, a threatening figure starts to approach. Undeterred, the organisms continue their Sisyphean task.

Crafted through painting and  3D animations, these life forms are inspired by biotechnology, prosthetics and the exploration of mutation. Striving to anthropomorphize geometry, McLaughlin imbues her community with not only emotions but also a sense of social responsibility.

A recorded musical score by David B. Smith and Omar Zubair will accompany McLaughlin’s Midnight Moment presentation on April 5, 2024 on Duffy Square.

Life Forms is presented in conjunction with McLaughlin’s exhibition phantasmachina, showcasing drawings, paintings and animations sponsored by En Foco at WallWorks Gallery in the Bronx, NY, from April 6–30, 2024. In addition, TFLR Contemporary will present an online exhibition of McLaughlin’s work, Out of the Abyss, from April 1–30, 2024.

Tricia McLaughlin is a physical and digital media artist exploring the transformative effects of technology on nature with unexpected consequences. Mutant creations where function follows form stem from McLaughlin’s intuitive repurposing of robotics, biotechnology, and aeronautics. As McLaughlin explains her process, “each painting and drawing begins as a collection of random marks on a page, allowing my subconscious mind to guide the initial creation. As the artwork develops, I start to see patterns and shapes arranging the chaos. Then I refine and define these elements, gradually transforming the initial marks into living, mechanical beings and/or structures.” Paintings are inserted into animation, 3D-designed constructions inspire paintings.

TFLR CONTEMPORARY is a gallery dedicated to exhibiting emerging and mid-career artists, both in the US and abroad. Exhibitions and curatorial projects are planned throughout the year in various venues and online platforms.

En Foco, Inc. presents U.S.-based photographers and digital imaging artists, focusing on women and people of African, Asian, Latino, Native American, and Pacific Islander heritage. Through exhibitions, workshops, events, and publications, it provides professional recognition, honoraria, and assistance as they grow into different stages of their careers.

The phantasmachina exhibition is co-presented by En Foco, Inc. and WallWorks Gallery, South Bronx, NYC.

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