The normally bustling pedestrian plaza on Broadway between 42nd and 43rd Streets was eerily quiet for the launch of Art Takes Time Square, an event coproduced by artist support groups Chashama and Artists Wanted, with help from the Times Square Alliance. Pedestrians packed in shoulder-to-shoulder to watch a dozen billboards display graffiti artist Vicki DaSilva’s Jasmine/Never Sorry (for Ai Weiwei). Chosen from among 35,000 entries, DaSilva’s multimedia work honors the provocative Chinese artist by depicting a shadowy figure who scrawls on brick walls with neon light. More than 4,000 submissions were looped on a pair of LED screens, interrupted only by the world premiere of “Five Seconds,” a music video by singer-songwriter-guitarist Twin Shadow, who was there to introduce it. Meanwhile, percussionists on stilts weaved in and out of the crowd.
Later that evening, guests boogied down to a mix of Top 40 and oldies spun by Questlove, flanked by neon-clad dancers and electric hula hoopers. Partiers took a break from the dance floor to get their portraits painted or have their hair fashioned into Seussian up-dos with the help of pipe cleaners and artificial flowers.
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