Last Wednesday night, the inaugural edition of the After Hours series kicked off at the Room Mate Grace Hotel lounge in New York’s Times Square with a haunting installation by artist Marco Brambilla and an ethereal performance by Cammisa Buerhaus. Co-organized by Times Square Arts and the Clocktower Gallery, the event welcomed the whole Art on Air team, including Joe Ahearn, Beatrice Johnson, David Weinstein, and Jeannie Hopper, as they livestreamed from the, venue interviewing the participating artists and attendees throughout the night. The temporary exhibit was generously hosted by Room Mate Grace Hotel. Hyperallergic was the exclusive media partner for the event, and the whole Hyperallergic team was there.
The event attracted a wide cross-section of the city’s art world, including artists Marina Abramović, Dustin Yellin, Jane Dickson, Charlie Ahearn, Hope Sandrow, and Brian Gonzales/TaxiPlasm (who are being featured this month as part of Times Square’s Midnight Moment); cultural figures like Ella Marder, arts coordinator of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York, arts philanthropist Beth Rudin deWoody, Carol Coffin, executive director at International Council of MoMA, curator Ryan Wong of the Museum of Chinese in America, philanthropist Sanford Kreiger; art critics Amanda Gordon, Robin Cembalest, and Blake Gopnik; and over 100 Hyperallergic readers as well.
The work created the sense of some communal campfire, where guests gathered to stare into the pool of projections. I asked Brambilla about the concept behind his piece. “‘Materialization/De-
“After hours brings back the spontaneity and grit of a NYC before my time,” artist Dustin Yellin said. “Marco [Brambilla] is a master moving-image maker. It is a delight to see his energies shifting through the moving waters of a midtown swimming pool. This fusion of water and light makes for the poetry of a 1,000 hallucinations.”
The director of public art at the Times Square Alliance, Sherry Dobbin, and the president of the Times Square Alliance, Tim Tompkins, were both thrilled with the event. “Times Square has held a long-standing creative relationship with artists and surprising venues, and we are thrilled with our inaugural event of the After Hours program and our collaboration with the Clocktower Gallery/ARTonAIR. Our partners at Room Mate Grace Hotel couldn’t have been more supportive on this venture where the artists and all of our organizations were pushing our own boundaries to create a one-night unique experience. The audience mix and enthusiasm confirms that New Yorkers will come to Times Square for the taste of something surprising,” she said.
The next After Hours will take place in May; stay tuned for more details.