The bubble may have burst on “Immersive Van Gogh” with the bankruptcy of the company that brought the trendy animated light show to the U.S., but New Yorkers should brace themselves for the arrival of the next interactive art attraction made famous by Emily in Paris. On October 27, the Balloon Museum featured in the guilty pleasure Netflix series will open at Pier 36—the same waterfront venue that famously hosted Vincent van Gogh’s swirling skies and blossoming flowers.
It is the first U.S. outing for the exhibition, which has been staged in Rome, Paris, Milan, and Madrid, welcoming 2.5 million visitors to date. Organizers are promising “mind-blowing inflatable installations” created by 13 international artists that visitors can touch and feel, experiencing the movement of the air-filled art.
“We have had the honor to collaborate with brilliant and innovative leading artists from across the globe to design this massive exhibition, and look forward to bringing New York on the journey of completely immersive, living, breathing art,” Roberto Fantauzzi, president of Lux Holding, the production company behind the exhibition, said in a statement.
In “How to Lose a Designer in 10 Days,” the seventh episode of the third season of Emily in Paris, the title character (Lily Collins) and her will-they-won’t-they love interest, Gabriel (Lucas Bravo), serendipitously wander into the Balloon Museum. What ensues is an impromptu night of selfies amid the airy art and an undeniable rekindling of the romantic sparks between the two.
The New York run of the show, titled “Let’s Fly,” includes new versions of some of the most-beloved works from previous iterations, with works by Hyperstudio, Karina Smigla-Bobinski, Cyril Lancelin, ENESS, Rub Kandy, and Quiet Ensemble. Visitors can also look forward to the debut of original works created just for this edition of the Balloon Museum by Camila Falsini, Michael Shaw, OUCHHH, Sasha Frolova, Sila Sveta, SpY Studio, and Tadao Cern.
The exhibition’s 80,000 square feet of inflated art is designed to explore the contrast between lightness and flight and gravity and darkness, transporting audiences to new worlds.
Expected highlights include a tribute to pioneering computer scientist Ada Lovelace by Smigla-Bobinski; BB, a reflective installation of mirrored balloons in a mirrored room by Cern; and Lancelin’s Flying Maze, an inflated labyrinth inspired by 16th-century Italian gardens.
Shaw has also created a colorful Lava Lamp sculpture shaped to the architecture of Pier 36, winding through the building, and OUCHHH has tapped environmental data on New York City air quality for an abstract piece called AI Data Portal of NY. And, as with any good pop-up museum worth its salt, there’s a ball pit, Hyperstudio’s Hypercosmo, featured prominently on Emily in Paris.
Tickets cost $45 for adults and $35 for children, with plans to open additional exhibitions in Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco.
See more photos previewing the exhibition below.
“Let’s Fly” will be on view at the Balloon Museum at Pier 36, 299 South Street, New York, New York, October 27–January 14, 2024.
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