Hidden Gems of Manhattan


Dora Cham

A silhouette of a person in Wallplay’s installation ‘Liminal Scope.’

When people think of New York City, Manhattan is the first thing that pops into their head. Bustling with commuters, it is not a place where people take the time to stop and appreciate the art surrounding them. Beginning in 2007, pop-up exhibitions have become more popular in our city. A pop-up exhibition is an art event for artists to showcase their work for a set period of time. Artists have featured their work all over Manhattan, gaining exposure from various social media influencers who visit them. From Chelsea to Lower Manhattan, hidden gems can be found everywhere.

Taglialatella Galleries showcases multiple artists, one of which is Mr. Brainwash. Exhibited on the upper level of the gallery is Mr. Brainwash’s ‘Brainwashed’ project. There are sculptures with text stating “life is beautiful,” and on the way back down, a glowing “I love you” light piece illuminates the staircase. This project ran through October 16th; however, Taglialatella will be presenting more of his work in March and June 2019.

Dora Cham
Mr. Brainwash’s installation, ‘Brainwashed.’

For those who have a greater appreciation towards fashion, “Pink: The History of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Color” will be open to the public at the Museum at the Fashion Institute Of Technology through January 1, 2019. Including designs and brands from Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, and Moschino, this exhibition features approximately 80 ensembles from the present, dating back to the 18th century.

The Met Breuer, on the Upper East Side, is an extension to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Among other exhibits, Jenny Holzer’s “Red Yellow Looming” has 13 beaming lights showing words excerpted from U.S. government documents on Iraq. Holzer’s piece will be on the 4th floor until January 6th.

Travelling down Manhattan, Wallplay’s “Liminal Scope” in Hovver is being presented until November 10. This light and sound installation features three 10’ circular frames encasing the radiant motions of lights hanging from the ceiling. Stepping through the curtain into the dark room, you will be enraptured by the immersive installation.

WhisBe’s “Vandal Gummy” is also being showcased in lower Manhattan. At the Castle Fitzjohns Gallery as well as the 4 World Trade Center, a giant gummy having it’s mugshot taken is on display as well as with other candy-related art. WhisBe’s purpose in his main piece, the giant gummy bear, was to represent lost innocence and for the viewer to create their own relationship towards the bear. Up until December 31, those who seek the criminal bear can visit these installations.

“The arts ignite something in our brains that I can’t explain, but I know it’s essential for life.”

For many of us, the subway is like our second home. We spend a good portion of our days traveling through the hot, crowded tunnels underneath the city streets. In the Bleeker Street subway station, Leo Villareal brightens up the environment with his light installation, “Hive.” Passersby can look up on their daily commute and watch rainbow lights dance across hexagonal honeycomb shapes on the ceiling until December 31.

Raimondo Galeano is an Italian artist who, just like Villareal, communicates his art through the use of light. His installation, “Cosmo’s Navigators” will be hosted at NonFinito Gallery through November 22. Galeano’s curiosity on Issac Newton’s ideas and scientific fields influenced his art. To Galeano, colors only pop out by means of light.

Some of our students have visited pop up art installations in the past. For instance, Melissa Cen ’19 has been to a “pop up” installation. “It was an immersive experience and had many hands on displays. I got to take many pictures and learn about the company,” she said. On a more general note, Carrie Liang ’19 finds appreciation in larger institutions like the Met Breuer which focus on culture and current events. “They are exquisite in that they allow people to voluntarily enrich themselves in non mainstream pop culture. It gives people the opportunity to think about how the world has truly developed,” she said.

Because of the free admissions and the cultural experience, these limited time pop-ups are definitely worth the trip. Allowing people to dive into a deeper appreciation for art enhances their perspective of the world.

Dora Cham
Petah Coyne’s installation ‘Having Gone I Will Return.’

“They give us empathy and help us understand people, places, periods of history, and issues with which we may otherwise be unfamiliar. They comfort us in grief and energize us in celebration. They are important because they can act as a catalyst for change…they can start a revolution! The arts ignite something in our brains that I can’t explain, but I know it’s essential for life,” says Jennie Terman, from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Being a society in which technology has taken over, these exhibitions are a critical part of our city’s ecosystem. They are not only a means of exposure for the artist, but they are a gateway for the citizens of our city to be exposed to the physical art world.

Here is a list of the locations of the pop up installations:
-Taglialatella Galleries (229 10th Ave, New York City)
-Museum at the Fashion Institute Of Technology
(Seventh Avenue at 27 Street)
-Met Breuer (945 Madison Ave, New York City)
-Hovver (323 Canal Street, New York City)
-Castle Fitzjohns Gallery (98 Orchard Street)
-4 World Trade Center (150 Greenwich Street)
-NonFinito Gallery (108 South Street)