Art Takes Times Square

A nonprofit stages its showiest exhibition to date.

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Times Square

Times Square Photograph: Wendy Connett


For 17 years, arts group chashama has created pop-up galleries in office buildings and empty warehouses. But beginning Monday 18, the nonprofit joins forces with Artists Wanted (artistswanted.org), turning more than a dozen Times Square billboards into digital canvases. “We’re excited about creating these unexpected art experiences for the public,” says chashama development director Kim Schnaubert. “What better and more amazing place to do that than in the middle of Times Square?”

The project, which started a year ago, generated a flurry of interest from artists and culture fiends with an open call for submissions, in March. “We had 2.2 million views on our website just halfway through the process,” says Schnaubert. Thousands around the globe eventually applied to have their work featured in one of the world’s most trafficked locations.

The square’s transformation into a massive arts space kicks off when chashama founder Anita Durst rings the closing bell of the NASDAQ at 4pm. The winning work will be unveiled at 7pm. Performances in the plaza by band Twin Shadow, stilt walkers and other artists will further the organization’s mission to foster art in surprising and unusual places. Meanwhile, a handpicked entries will screen on a pair trucked-in LED displays in the pedestrian mall. A gala and after-party follow.

Organizers expect the project to attract attention from jaded New Yorkers as well as tourists. “We hope that we’ll be able to add something to the experience of Times Square that people can take away from their New York City visit,” says Schnaubert. Times Square, Broadway between 42nd and 47th Sts (chashama.org). Mon 18 at 4pm; free. • chashama Gala After-Party!, 132 W 43rd St between Broadway and Sixth Ave. Mon 18 at 9:30pm; $35.

More summer pop-up art in NYC

How I Roll
Alaska-based Italian artist Paola Pivi subverts reality in her displays—like posing a pair of zebras in snow or naked women sitting on dollhouse-sized designer chairs. This summer, she upends a Piper Seneca airplane, suspending it from the wingtips and rotating the structure around a central support. The sculpture comments on the poetic qualities of technical machines. Doris C. Freedman Plaza, corner of Central Park at Fifth Ave and 60th St (212-223-7800, publicartfund.org). Wed 20–Aug 26; free.

Big Kastenmann
The Standard New York commissioned Viennese artist Erwin Wurm (known for his humorously distorted images) to create this 18-foot-high sculpture of a boxy men’s dress shirt atop a pair of legs in the hotel’s outdoor plaza. The piece, whose title means “big box man” in German, is Wurm’s first public work in NYC. The sculptor will also create limited-edition souvenirs to sell in the hotel’s shop. The Standard Hotel, 848 Washington St at 13th St (standardculture.com). June 21–Oct; free.

Winkel & Balktick Laboratory
During Labor Day weekend, a variety of interactive and multimedia installations and performances—all inspired by science and technology—will fill a space that once fostered innovations in those fields. Brooklyn-based party producers Mark Winkel and Kevin Balktick take over pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s former 600,000-square-foot manufacturing plant with a 10,000-square-foot dance floor, a walk-in refrigerator the size of a house and other to-be-determined projects. Applications to participate are due August 6. 630 Flushing Ave between Marcy and Tompkins Aves, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn (wandbnyc.com). Sept 1–3; $TBA.


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Marcela Carvalho
Marcela Carvalho

Artist Wanted event was great! As one of the selected artist, I am also a Chashama artist. It was such a fantastic experience being in TQ with all the people from all ages, diverse backgrounds and cultures charing and celebrating ART!! The Band also was fun! Thank you to Chashama and Artist Wanted. We all had great fun!