Snapshot: Curated by Phong Bui, the latest collection at Red Bull Studios takes us on a truly psychedelic “trip” through various colorful works of contemporary art.
Inspired by what he calls the “psychedelic renaissance” of this decade, Bui has pulled together an assortment of work by artists born between the 1920s and 1980s who share an interest in the psychedelic – conceptually, aesthetically or artistically – to create an explosive sensory experience.
The space has been transformed as the bright colors and vibrant geometrics take over. Jim Lambie’s floor-work is a vast trail of luminous, multi-colored strips of tape. Walls are flanked with 60s style fluffy pink shag carpeting. Islands of paintings sculptures pop up throughout the gallery, all within the bounds of psychedelic tropes of disco, polka-dots, vintage and retro color schemes and materials.
Stand out pieces include a computerized glass installation that moves to form the word “inhale”, much like actual, hypnotic breathing. Also, a cactus sculpture that responds to “good vibrations” activated by the visitor (a 1985 recreation by Fred Tomaselli). Charles LeDray shows a miniature cricket cage made of human bone which is decidedly creepy while Robert Gober presents a wax candle with human hair. By using “normal” material in this “abnormal” world of illusions, illuminations and alternating views, these artists manage to entirely confound the senses.
The psychedelic experience can manifest itself in many ways such as disordered time perception, trance, temporal illusion and altered state of awareness. By expressing these waves of psychedelic hypnosis - which are often associated with LSD and Woodstock – through art, Bui is extending an invitation to the public to reflect on this era and to present a more modern perception and interpretation of one of the most influential movements of the last Century.
A lot like an Austin Powers set, the curved walls, and bright fluorescent light invite funk, soul and exclamations of “Groovy, Baby!” The theme extends out from the individual pieces into the entire presentation of the space, flooding the viewer’s peripheral vision with colors and images that we still so strongly associate with the past. This 3000 square foot space has become a dreamlike time machine that transports us in body to a truly psychedelic frame of mind.
Bui is an artist, writer and independent curator, most well-known as the founder Brooklyn Rail. His curated exhibition will be showing at the Red Bull Studios until December 14th. Take a trip down there and get groovy.
Photography courtesy of Red Bull Studios