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Artechouse NHKS4220 Bar Illusion
Photograph: Courtesy Artechouse

This immersive installation lets you see inside an Edward Hopper painting

You can order up drinks that "come to life" with augmented reality.

By
Shaye Weaver
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Life is imitating art this year—visitors to Chelsea's ARTECHOUSE will soon be able to enter an Edward Hopper-like painting and order up a drink that they can "bring to life" via augmented reality.

ARTECHOUSE has added a new attraction to coincide with its blue-hued exhibit, "Celestial." The installation invites visitors to view a life-sized AR bar by Noiland Collective and Epson called "NHKS4220 Bar Illusion," which looks like Edward Hopper's famous "Nighthawks" painting from 1942. The iconic empty bar scene is populated with digital bartenders and, separately, visitors can order non-alcoholic cocktails to go from the gift shop. By using the ARTECHOUSE mobile app, visitors can then bring their drinks "to life."

If visitors want alcohol, they can separately go order a specially made cocktail at two local bars the digital art space has partnered with.

At The Chester (18 Ninth Ave.), the “Reality Check,” is made of organic açai puree, muddled blueberries, mint leaf sprigs, lemon juice, vanilla-infused simple syrup and French organic coconut purée. And finally, those who go to Helen's (22 1/2 Ninth Ave.) can order the "Reemerge,” which mixes pomegranate with orgeat, orange juice, blue curaçao syrup and bitters.

The Brass Monkey (1304, 55 Little W. 12th St.), is offering the non-alcoholic "Uncharted Territory," which combines spiced blackberry cordial, lemon juice, water and edible glitter.

Each drink has an AR-activating coaster the customer can activate and play with. 

The partnership between ARTECHOUSE and the bars is the newest way the art and hospitality industries are trying to support one another during this rough time.

"As the art and hospitality industries continue to struggle—but also try to adapt and reinvent themselves to provide new experiences and spaces for connection—we wanted to support, celebrate, and collaborate with our neighboring small business owners in NYC," said Tatiana Pashtukova, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of ARTECHOUSE. "Each establishment we’ve worked with has provided their own creative spin on this project, and made the AR drinks experience dynamic—and delicious.”

Artechouse NHKS4220 Bar Illusion
Photograph: Courtesy Artechouse

The artists behind the hologram-like bar said they wanted to bring Hopper's downtown bar scene to life at a time when we are once again facing existential fears—much like we were in the early 1940s when the United States had just entered WWII. Bars have often been a place for solace, community and conversation, but now that public health is a concern, many of them have been forced to close.

"In conceiving new futures for art, ARTECHOUSE often builds bridges to the past," said Sandro Keserelidze, co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of ARTECHOUSE. "Artists, and images from specific historical moments, can help us navigate the unknown. Meshing current and past moments of turmoil, and showing that life’s small pleasures continue amidst anxiety, NHKS4220 Bar Illusion is pure ARTECHOUSE: innovation and art colliding to bend and clarify reality."

ARTECHOUSE's "Celestial" exhibit is on through January 3. Tickets are $24, but New York and New Jersey locals can save $5 per ticket when visiting ARTECHOUSE NYC Monday through Friday.

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