6. Times Square Midnight Moment

American Circus, July’s Midnight Moment by artist Federico Solmi. Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk for Times Square Arts.

Every month a new video installation takes over the screens of Times Square at midnight. The videos run every night at midnight. This month, the screens will be taken over by artist Federico Solmi and his colorful video American Circus. Solmi is a multi-disciplinary artist, originally from Italy, whose bright, absurdist works offer pointed critiques of historical narratives, contemporary culture, and the corruption and hypocrisy of the powerful.

American Circus will incorporate a mix of Solmi’s drawing and painting enhanced by digital and gaming technologies. After scanning his original paintings, Solmi texture-maps them onto 3-D models of characters and environments within a game design engine where he digitally controls the animated characters using motion capture technology and computer scripts.

American Circus is a maximalist portrait of Times Square as an eternal carnival, filled with food stands, whirling amusement rides, American flags, fireworks, an absurd collection of iconic world landmarks, and signs advertising “EVERYTHING 99¢ OR LESS.” The Midnight Moment screening will be American Circus’ world premiere, the first in a series of works titled The Great Farce. It is also the second of three interpretive portraits of the Times Square that will be presented as Midnight Moments this summer.