New Yorkers often complain that Times Square feels sterile and dead. The London-based artist Rebecca Louise Law’s new installation, “Flowers 2015: Outside In,” suspended in the lobby of the Viacom building, reintroduces nature and life to the neighborhood’s largely artificial environment.
This installation suits its surreal surroundings, feeling at home among the glowing marquees of Broadway theaters, the buskers in fuzzy, counterfeited costumes, and the polychromatic displays of the massive chain stores. It comes off as whimsical rather than tacky, contrasting nicely with Times Square’s surfeit of tackiness. The calming presence of nature offers a reprieve from the chaotic intersection’s sensory overload. The multicolored flowers even manage to complement and accentuate the colors in the bright lights flickering across the giant screens nearby.
The installation is the latest in a long line of works Law has created using suspended flowers and plants, though it’s her first project in the US. It is also the first in a series of exhibitions that will take over the Viacom lobby. Law created her piece on-site with the help of 200 volunteers who helped prepare some 16,000 flowers — including roses, carnations, chrysanthemums, grevilla, and kangaroo paw. Throughout the run of the exhibition, footage of the installation will be streamed live onto digital billboard screens around Times Square, filling the cold streets with even more nature.
Rebecca Louise Law’s “Flowers 2015: Outside In” will be on view in the lobby of the Viacom building (1515 Broadway, Midtown, Manhattan) through April.
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