Chelsea Art Space Gives New Artists A Moment In The Sun
A new Chelsea art space is making a splash with some summertime inspired art. NY1's Arts reporter Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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When comes to colorful summertime fun, architect Jeffrey Inaba really knows how to use his noodle. His rooftop installation at X Initiative at 548 West 22nd Street in Chelsea is created out of hundreds of pool noodles.
"The seating here is made out of pool noodles, which is the flotation devices that kids use, and we've made it into such a way that people can recline on it and sit, and sort of do whatever, relax," says Inaba.
His rooftop seating is one of many new art installations here at X Initiative, a new non-profit art space. With a one-year lease, X Initiative will showcase new works by local and international artists.
"The kind of art that we're showing at X right now is the kind of art that you really wouldn't be able to find here in the States," says X Initiative assistant director Josh Altman. "Some of the artists have fairly broad followings in Europe, Israel, and other places abroad, but they haven't really had the opportunity to have solo exhibitions and have more in-depth surveys of their work.
"So what X does, is we're able to react quickly to different movements in the art scene and kind of invest in these artists, and give the American audience and opportunity to see them and to see the work," continues Altman.
Mark Essen of Light Industries in Brooklyn and his colleagues create video games that he describes as "hard to play."
"There's controllers everywhere, so you can sit down and play them. This one is two-player, that one's a laptop, there's a controller there, and they're all just open to play," says Essen.
There will be plenty of playing up on the roof, where crowds are already enjoying Inaba's artistic setting and other art installations, and can look forward to film screenings throughout the summer.
The colorful seats aren't just comfy. Inaba, who also teaches architecture at Columbia University, says they are also inexpensive and eco-friendly.
"What we wanted to do was use material that was 100-percent recyclable, which we did," says Inaba. "We also are hoping that after its use this summer that we can donate it to a community organization here in Chelsea for use until it wears out, and then afterwards it can be recycled."
Admission to X Initiative is free, and for more details visit www.x-initiative.org.