In 1927 Fritz Lang directed Metropolis, a German expressionist science fiction film that depicted a seemingly high rising city with the undercurrent of dystopia. André Saraiva with his first solo exhibition at The Hole installed a miniature city at night in Gallery 3. Arte Fuse came to the VIP Preview June 6, 2012 to traipse the nightlife and just had to boogie while engulfed in the sounds and lights of “Andrépolis”.
To welcome us into the world of Saraiva, Mickey Mouse with an erection greeted all at the entrance. The artist built fifteen wooden structures of high rises that were painted and outfitted with enticing lights. The darkened gallery evoked a city pulsing with the hedonistic and vibrant energy as neon signs blared with lights twinkling its rhythm. It is the world the artist is familiar with being a DJ and a club entrepreneur. Dance music blares out to punctuate the ambiance and heightens the whole experience as you walk up and down the avenues of the pleasure city. In each structure you will find direct references to either a New York landmark like the Chrysler building or a sultry lit building on the left bank of Paris. With his globe trotting night haunts, it can be any city in the world where the night beckons with its ever seductive neon lights.
This is the full realization of Saraiva’s world where he circulates and the denizens he rubs shoulders with thrive way after dark till the break of dawn. Culture makers come out to paint the town red and chase the night away. It is a fantasy world where the building sculptures resemble dollhouses for the fabulous and superbly creative. He also channels that creativity with every minute detail on the high rise buildings such as trims, canopied entrances, doors with handles, windows to look into, signage, and every nook you can feel the thumping bass must be coming from the inside. His famous graffiti character, Mr. A, makes a signature cameo as one of the neon signage on a building. It is a fascinating metropolis to be immersed in for the length of time you decide to absorb the sights and sounds.
It is telling that each structure is Saraiva’s altar of love to the night world that he has tirelessly traveled in yet continues to be fascinated with. This exhibition gives everyone a VIP pass to jump the velvet rope. get inside, and immerse yourself into the pleasures of the clandestine and the nocturnal. As a Disco classic touts: “Why don’t you take me to Funky Town?” – well, André Saraiva guarantees that he’ll take you there to dance under the watchful eyes of the neon Gods.
André Saraiva: ANDRÉPOLIS / On View: June 7 – August 10, 2012
Gallery Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 12 – 7 pm
The Hole. 312 Bowery Street. New York, New York 10012
article by: Oscar A. Laluyan