Once the fashion set says au revoir to New York City for Paris, the Big Apple begins preparations for another week of crowded shows, champagne fueled–openings, and glitzy parties held at sun-drenched Upper East Side townhouses. The city’s annual Arts Week, the art world’s equivalent of fashion week, draws collectors, gallerists, artists, and spectators from around the globe.
Though the week includes dozens of fairs around the city, the flagship is The Amory Show, whose VIP preview on Thursday drew art world stars and celebrities like Neil Patrick Harris, while legendary fashion photographer Bill Cunningham milled around capturing the sartorially-inclined guests.
Here are the 10 coolest things we saw at the fairs, from Dustin Yellin’s shredded money pieces at the Spring/Break Art Show to Glenn Kaino’s oft-Instagrammed installation of 100 copper arrows at the Armory Show.
1. Grace Villamil, A Door within a Door within a Door, curated by Fabiana Faria + Helena Barquet (Coming Soon) and Katya Braxton (above)
Grace Villamil’s multi-sensory installation invited people to enter her massive gold mylar rock formations, while a custom score and scent completed the experience.
2. Dustin Yellin & Bazaar Teens, The Riches of God’s Love unto the Vessels of Mercy
Yellin, who recently collaborated with designer Misha Nonoo on the prints for her Spring 2015 collection, took an anonymous donor’s $10,000, shredded it and created eight works of art, with proceeds benefitting art grants for high schoolers.
3. Glenn Kaino, A Shout Within a Storm
We’ve all had days where we felt like this. Kaino’s installation of 100 copper-plated steel arrows, pointing right at the viewer, was one of the standout pieces at the Armory Show.
4. Bel Linquist, White Powder Gold
Linquist’s mixed media pieces combine street art influence with luxury band logos like Chanel and Fendi. To browse her more affordable prints, and seriously amazing wrapping paper, visit her Etsy store.
5. Hank Willis Thomas, #ArtsyTakeover
Commissioned by online art resource Artsy, Hank Willis Thomas’s installation featured a string of words, which took new meaning when illuminated by an iPhone. The resulting phrase, “Life Imitates Ads Imitate Art Imitates Life,” may have been the headliner of the entire week.
6. Brian Bess, 370 Cover
When it comes to fashion, we’re a big fan of stripes on stripes. So why should art be any different? This video installation featured shape-shifting objects on top of striped backgrounds for a visually hypnotizing experience.
7. Michael Marra, Chandelini
Talk about the ultimate conversation starter. In the corner at PULSE hung Michael Marra’s illuminated chandelier, which upon inspection was actually made from six dozen martini glasses lit from within. Unfortunately, this chandelier didn’t serve actual cocktails.
8. Robert Montgomery, The People You Love Become Ghosts Inside of You
The fairs were full of neon life lessons, but we didn’t see anyone walk by this Robert Montgomery piece, made from painted wood and solar powered LED lights, that didn’t feel compelled to stop and take a photo.
9. Carla Gannis, The Garden of Emoji Delights
A play on the classic Hieronymus Bosch painting, entitled “A Garden of Earthly Delights,” Carla Gannis’ emoji version is fun, colorful and cheeky.
10. David LaChapelle, Gas Shell
Photographer David LaChapelle is well-known in fashion circles, shooting numerous editorials and award-winning campaigns for brands like Diesel. His fine art photography is just as dazzling.