A new art installation titled Prismatica has just been unveiled in the Garment District and it is alive with color. Prismatica is an immersive experience that engages your senses of sight and sound. The exhibition consists of 25 three-dimensional rotating prisms that emit iridescent colors and enchanting chime music into the atmosphere. Visitors are invited to walk through the interactive light show and to take in Prismatica’s mesmerizing aura.
All photos by Ryan Lahiff
Each prism of Prismatica is 6 feet tall and composed of panels covered in dichroic film. As light is projected upon the prisms, they reflect an ever-changing spectrum of colors. By day, the geometric structures shimmer in sunlight. By night, the prisms adjust their color tones to create an ambient setting. The sound is made by physical chimes that are located inside the prisms and make noise as they are spun (best effect is to go with some friends and spin one or more together). “As our city continues to fight against this pandemic and recover, it was important for us to kick off a new, fresh year by introducing a bright and colorful public art installation to the heart of Midtown Manhattan that would inspire New Yorkers to remain hopeful and resilient,” said Barbara A. Blair, president of the Garment District Alliance.
Prismatica is the newest addition of the Garment District Alliance’s year-round program, Arts on the Plazas. The program was made possible by the NYC Department of Transportation’s Art Program (DOT Art). Through Arts on the Plazas, the Garment District Alliance and DOT Art bring remarkable public art installations from around the world to the Garment District. The program promotes vitality in the area by making art free and accessible to New Yorkers and tourists. Earlier this year, “Doggy Bags” by New York-based artist Will Kurtz was exhibited in the same location where Prismatica is now on display. Additionally, Broadway Pedestrian Plazas was the destination of art installations such as Loop, Impulse, and Seward Johnson’s Marilyn Monroe, to name a few.
In 2014, Prismatica made its debut in the fifth edition of Luminothérapie, Montreal’s biggest competition for public art installations. Prismatica won first in show and was exhibited in Montreal’s district for the arts and pop culture, Quartier des Spectacles. The installation’s major success in Canada has given it opportunity to travel abroad to Washington D.C. and Niagara Falls.
Prismatica was created by RAW Design in collaboration with Atomic3. Atomic3 and Jean-François Piché led the lighting design of the installation. Additionally, Atomic3 and Louis Héon oversaw the production and technical direction of Prismatica. The sound design was sequenced by Dix Au Carré, a Canadian design group who has collaborated on projects with major organizations such as the NBA and Cirque du Soleil.
Prismatica will be on display in the Broadway Pedestrian Plazas, between 39th and 40th Street, until January 30th. Additionally, this Thursday, January 14th, the Garment District Alliance will host a celebration for the unveiling of their new installation from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. In collaboration with the Quebec office in New York, the event will feature a pop-up sugar shack called Cabane à Sucre. Notably, guests are invited to try Chef Dominic Sylvain’s freshly made maple syrup taffy for a taste of Canada.