Los Angeles–based visual artist Darel Carey’s work includes dimensional line drawings and immersive installations using his signature medium: tape. Focusing on optical and spatial perception, he uses lines to shape and bend the perceived dimensions of a surface or a space, compelling viewers to contemplate their perception of the surrounding environment.
During the 2019 Frieze Art Fair, Equinox commissioned Carey to create an immersive tape installation at its High Line club in New York City. Over a period of eight days, Carey fabricated an expansive geometric design on the club’s interior windows and collaborated with Equinox on corresponding limited-edition yoga mats, which were available for purchase at The Shop with proceeds donated to charity.
Seeing a strong connection between his art and the patterns of nature, Carey is inspired by the sciences, including the works and writings of cosmologists Lawrence Krauss and Sean Carroll. He appreciates the beauty of emergent properties and systems found in nature, and attempts to embody these attributes in his art.
“A line on its own is simple. When combined with many other lines in a consistent, precise manner, the lines become more than just the lines; as a whole they form something more complex than what they are individually.”
As this takeover of the club’s façade, located on a busy Chelsea Avenue in Manhattan, was Carey’s first time installing straight to the glass on windows, he had to consider several factors: the installation would be seen from both inside and outside, from the street below and the High Line above, and with varying directions of light throughout the day.
The result was a breathtaking display of spatial perspectives and fascinating illusion, causing viewers to stop and contemplate their own visual understanding of the world around them.
When designing the yoga studio, Carey had to consider the surrounding environment to create a cohesive design. The tape color, which was white, looked dark from inside the space when sunlight was coming in and white later in the day.
The light also cast interesting shadows inside and outside the space. At night, for example, shadows of the lines were laid across the sidewalk outside. During the day, up in the yoga studio, the shadows of the lines from the sunlight sprawled across the studio floor. The mirrors in the studio also double the perceived size of the installation.
Influenced by the work MC Escher, including his geometrical illusions, mathematical patterns, and tessellations, Carey designed, and Equinox produced, 100 limited-edition signed yoga mats available exclusively to club members.
Carey chose to direct the proceeds of the collaboration to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonprofit advocacy organization founded at MIT employing scientists, economists, and engineers to examine governmental policy in the areas of science and technology.
“When someone looks at a space that I've dimensionalized, their perception of space is altered. The beauty of these installations—and the reason why experiencing them in person versus seeing still images is important—is that you perceive them differently. In short, my work makes spaces look and feel different from various angles, and it compels people to move around them in an interesting way.”
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