In celebration of the opening of Section 2 of the High Line Park, art and design collaborative FriendsWithYou presents Rainbow City, its first interactive art installation in New York City on view from June 8th through July 5th. The collection of 40 air-filled sculptures will take over 16,000 square feet of outdoor space in Chelsea throughout the month. FriendsWithYou was founded in 2002 by Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III, two Miami-based artists, with the mission to spread Magic, Luck, and Friendship™ around the world. Their works have been exhibited or included in permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA), and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Museum in Berlin, Germany. In homage to their latest installation, get a preview of Rainbow City and take a look back at some of the most inspired works by FriendsWithYou over the years.
Rainbow City was originally presented at Art Basel Miami 2010. It arrives in New York this month, concurrent with FWY’s first NYC gallery exhibition at The Hole. The installation, which was commissioned by AOL, celebrates the opening of the second section of the High Line Park. While the first section of the High Line opened in 2009, the second section, which runs from West 20th to West 30th Street on Manhattan’s West Side, opens tomorrow.
Field of Dreams
Commissioned by the Fubon Art Foundation as part of the Very Fun Park 2010 exhibition, Field of Dreams covered the façade of the Fubon Financial building in Taipei, Taiwan. This large-scale art piece by FWY aims to be a visual representation of the year’s theme, “looking up”; as the viewer’s gaze is drawn upward, the image of the smiling cloud appears on the horizon. Field of Dreams is on exhibit through July 2011.
In celebration of Hello Kitty’s 35th birthday in October 2009, FriendsWithYou presented a one-of-a-kind work that was commissioned by Sanrio at the Three Apples exhibition at the Royal/T Gallery in Los Angeles. Like the kiddie rides seen outside of grocery stores, Kitty Ride moved up and down simulating a gentle voyage through the clouds.
Originally conceived as an interactive show at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas in 2008, the Fun House installation has evolved into a world-traveling art exhibition. For the SCOPE Art Fair during Art Basel Miami 2008, SCOPE commissioned FWY to build a 4,000-square foot village replete with a bounce house, a romper room, restaurant, and an FWY store and fine art gallery. In its third and largest installment to date, the Fun House made its international debut in Berlin, Germany for Pictopia, one of Europe’s most distinguished design art fairs curated by the Haus der Kulturen der Welt Museum in Berlin.
Commissioned in 2008 by the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Dream Maker is a giant inflatable mobile meant to invoke the solar system, fortune, and dreams. The work is exhibited rotating on its axis in the lobby of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Designed to demonstrate the powers of luck and possibility, and to “make dreams come true,” this piece supposedly grants your dream if you simply experience it.
In 2006, FriendsWithYou opened Art Basel Miami with Skywalkers, an inflatable procession of artful blimps, including smiley faces, an exploding volcano, an outsize white puppy, and a variety of giant abstract balloons. Commissioned by Toyota Scion, the parade of 18 blimps was designed by FriendsWithYou and its artist friends, and presented with the assistance of over 300 volunteers, a high school marching band, and thousands of attendees “all working together to celebrate the Earth as the newest member of the universal community.”
Project Fox was a work commissioned by Volkswagen to celebrate the release of the VW Fox and the launch of the Fox Hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark. For the piece, unveiled during a three-week lifestyle event that engaged 21 artists in the redesign of the hotel, FriendsWithYou designed four rooms in the hotel as a custom work of art that explored the “different realms of existence in the minds of FWY.” FWY also gave the new car a new “soul” by transforming it into an other-worldly character they called the “Albino Fox.”