AREA15, the immersive art and entertainment complex opening this September, introduces Art Island, a first-ever permanent gallery for the exhibition of large-scale, commercially available, festival-style artwork. Featuring original pieces by international art stars such as Michael Benisty, Davis McCarty, and Ivan McLean. Art Island will be free to visit when AREA15 opens to the public.
For urban planners, corporate art buyers and private collectors, Art Island will function as not only a physical showroom, but also a curatorial resource, where prospective clients from anywhere in the world can connect with talented artists. Buyers can purchase work on display at Art Island or commission an original work from one of the represented artists.
“With many popular desert festivals being postponed this summer, the public will soon have a brand-new, ongoing opportunity to engage with the theatrical, interactive artwork synonymous with these events,” said Winston Fisher, chief executive officer, AREA15. “At Art Island, we intentionally created a permanent showcase for these extraordinary pieces. After all, what seems a more fitting, organic home for this sort of spectacle than AREA15—in the shadow of the over-the-top Las Vegas Strip?”
Michael Beneville, chief creative officer, AREA15, and founder and CEO, Beneville Studios, curated Art Island in collaboration with Josh Levine, founder, Fired Up Management. All artwork on view is three-dimensional, monumental in scale and may be viewed as sculpture-in-the-round by visitors, who will discover countless photo opportunities as they explore the individual creations.
“Art Island acknowledges the growing audience for this burgeoning, outdoor art form distinctive for its accessibility and ability to create new art enthusiasts,” said Beneville. “Here, for the first time in an urban setting, will be a place where collectors and lovers of visual culture alike can walk among this monumental artwork in a setting unlike anywhere else.”
Artwork at Art Island includes:
“In Every Lifetime I Will Find You” by Michael Benisty
Through 14 vertical feet of mirrored polished steel, Michael Benisty explores the love between people and across humankind. The couple in this piece stand together, radiating strength and connection, through everything the world – and the weather – throws their way. Their mirrored surface invites you to see the strength of your own love within them, infinitely reflected from your soul to theirs and into the heavens.
About the artist: Belgian artist Michael Benisty debuted an eight-foot, mirror-polished skull entitled “Die to Live” at Art Basel in Miami in 2012 and has since followed up with pieces that turned a literal mirror on the crowds at Art Basel, Burning Man, and other art festivals.
“Infinity Ship” (No. 1) “Perception” by Matt Elson
Step inside Infinity Ship (No. 1) “Perception” to alter your perception of reality and change the way you see the world. A shipping container reimagined as a kaleidoscopic glimpse into the infinite, this is more than just a killer photo opp. Conceived as a series of mirror-worlds that can traverse the globe by road, rail, and sea, the Infinity Ships will sometimes come together to create full villages of art and reflection, and other times will be mere ships passing in the night.
About the artist: Matt Elson’s Infinity Box project creates highly imaginative worlds where viewers become the center of a psychedelic kaleidoscope. His work has been displayed across the United States and Europe and featured everywhere from Google headquarters to the Science Museum of London.
“Mechan 9” by Tyler Fuqua Creations (TFC)
A massive robot half-buried in the desert floor, Mechan 9 is a relic from another era—but is it the past or the future? Close examination of its surface reveals secret hatches and mysterious text, heretofore unknown to any scholar. Are they pure decoration, or clues into its mysterious origins? Find the special sticker within AREA15 to decode the text and unlock one of the great secrets of the ages.
About the artist: TFC is a Portland, Oregon-based collective spearheaded by Tyler Fuqua, who began his artistic career by making giant puppets out of things lying around his house. Alongside fellow builder Jason Hutchinson, he has created interactive pieces including a 21-foot whale puppet, a flaming kinetic phoenix, and a tricycle-powered space worm.
“OMAH” by Alchemy Arts
OMAH is a wise owl poised to soar above the crowds at AREA15, omniscient in its wisdom and elegant in its pattern of flight. A neon-lit installation on an impressive scale, it serves as an ambassador between the avian and human worlds and reminds us all to connect with our inner bird of prey.
About the artist: Based in Portland, Oregon, Alchemy Arts has provided design and fabrication services for corporate clients such as Google and Home Depot, and art and music festivals. OMAH is a collaboration between Alchemy artists Fez and Heather B. Gaetz.
“Pulse Portal” by Davis McCarty
Pulse Portal is a 20-foot archway of iridescent light that changes depending on your perspective. The fully modular piece can be put together in twenty different ways and is made from dichroic filters which transform depending on how the light hits them and their position in space.
About the artist: Davis McCarty’s functionally integrated architectural sculptures have been installed and exhibited at museums, iconic buildings, and art festivals around the globe including: The Wright Museum of Art, Sears Tower, Union Station, Zhou B Art Center, Burning Man, and Symbiosis. His work is held in the Illinois State Museum public collection.
“El Scorcho” by Ivan McLean
El Scorcho is a 15-foot tall, fire-breathing dragon said to have emerged from the fires of Mordor in an era sometime between Middle Earth and the distant future. Made from fireproof stainless steel and structural tubing, it is equipped with the latest propane technology and always ready to blast its enemies with scorching balls of molten flame.
“Giant Disco” by Ivan McLean
Giant Disco is a playful take on the classic party archetype. Gather beneath the huge, suspended sphere and watch light and shadow play across its surface or use it as a gathering point for dance parties—both real and imagined.
About the artist: Ivan McLean has lived everywhere from a foggy ranch in Point Reyes, California to the misty mountains of North Carolina. He has spent his career building gates, fences, furniture and sculpture—which, to his surprise, many people have bought and loved.
“Long Live Las Vegas” by Tomas Toulec
Taking inspiration from the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, “Long Live Las Vegas” will greet visitors upon their arrival at AREA15. Las Vegas-based metalwork artist Tomas Toulec handcrafted the sign and incorporated AREA15’s signature portal and other elements found throughout the immersive entertainment complex.
To inquire about a private viewing or purchase at Art Island, click here or email art@AREA15.com (mailto:art@AREA15.com).
AREA15, located minutes from the Las Vegas Strip, is the world’s first purpose-built experiential entertainment complex offering live events, immersive activations, monumental art installations, extraordinary design elements, unique retail, ground-breaking technology, bars and eateries and much more. With a growing collection of dynamic destinations including Emporium, Oddwood, Dueling Axes, Lost Spirits Distillery, a culinary experience by Todd English and its anchor experience, Meow Wolf Las Vegas.
AREA15’s ever-changing art, retail and entertainment attractions will draw locals and tourists of all ages when it opens in September 2020. AREA15 represents a collaborative venture between real estate development firm Fisher Brothers and creative agency Beneville Studios, both of New York. For more information visit www.AREA15.com
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