Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative .................................... Public Art
- Table of
"Optichromie" - Town
681 Main Street, Buffalo NY
Photo courtesy of Steve Cichon's Buffalo Stories
"Originally called The Town Casino between the 1940s and 60s, the venue looms large in Buffalo’s history. In the midst of her heyday, the Main Street club was the Queen city’s finest restaurant and night spot. She was home to shuffling showgirls and tough guys playing cards in the basement (Al Capone among them). The room also hosted a myriad of musical legends such as Frank Sinatra, Nat ¨King¨ Cole, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Les Paul. Anyone who was anyone played the Town Casino.
"However, following these storied years the building changed ownership several times. First she was home base for the Studio Arena, then became UB’s Pfeiffer Theater, and in the early 21st Century was remodeled into Sphere Entertainment Complex.
"Finally, in 2005, noted Buffalo promoters Artie Kwitchoff and Donny Kutzbach stepped in to restore the old girl to her former glory. Their vision was to bring the venue back to life as the Queen City’s premier concert venue. This included further renovation of the space to ensure the stage was not only magnificent for performers, but was also the best place for fans to see a show. The pièce de résistance was christening the club the Town Ballroom, which called to mind the legendary grandeur of the Town Casino." - Town Ballroom - Official Website: About Us (online May 2019)
Details, from left to right, below:
Mural Watch: AK Hits Up Back Side of Town Ballroom on Washington Street
Buffalo Rising, May 17, 2019
The back side of the Town Ballroom is getting a new mural, thankfully. If there was a wall in downtown Buffalo that could benefit from a mural, it’s the back side of the Town Ballroom on Washington Street. While Main Street has managed to come a long way with its building facades, the rather bland Washington Street side has not been so lucky (including The Town Ballroom and the Hostel Buffalo-Niagara). Then there’s the lackluster Post Office, which has been on the development radar in recent months.
But all of that is about to change.
The mural, part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery’s Public Art Initiative, is the first to get underway in 2019. Felipe Pantone (Argentinian-Spanish – born Argentina, 1986) is the artist. Pantone has a Fine Art degree (Valencia, Spain) – his works revolve around dynamism, transformation, omnipresence, and themes related to the present times, according the Albright-Knox.
Visible in his art is the embattlement of analog past and a digitized future, where the two collide and intermesh with one another. The collision brought about by machine and man brings about spectacles that broadcast “a prism of neon gradients, geometric shapes, optical patterns, and jagged grids.”
“Color only happens because of light, and light is the only reason why life happens,” Pantone says. “Light and color are the very essence of visual art. Thanks to television, computers, and modern lighting, our perception of light and color has changed completely.”
In the future, instead of musicians loading into the Town Ballroom through an uninspiring back entranceway, they will now be greeted with a far out work of art, thanks to the bold public art vision of The AK.
Felipe Pantone's New Mural Digitalizes the Town Ballroom in Buffalo
Juxtapoze, May 22, 2019
Felipe Pantone worked with Albright-Knox Gallery's Public Art Initiative for his newest work, "Optichromie," at the Town Ballroom in Buffalo, New York, and the façade of the legendary concert venue is covered with the artist's signature fusion. Black-and-white patterns, bold prismatic forms and oversized fluorescent pixels, provide the familiar elements that serve as a set of endlessly reconfigurable building blocks that form the basis of his murals, sculptures, and paintings.
While this approach to art-making speaks to the endless cycle of duplication and the transformative characteristics of digital art and culture, Pantone takes a long view of technological progress. He views the computer-modeling programs, which he uses to develop his designs, as part of a larger continuum of image-making innovations that, alongside the pencil and oil-painting, comprise his studio practices and street art creations. From this vantage point, the artist is an optimist who positively views a digital future that could potentially make the world a more dynamic and connected place.
When he was twelve-years-old, Pantone began illicitly painting on the streets in his hometown of Valencia, Spain. After experimenting with numerous graffiti styles as a teenager and young adult, he found himself drawn to the 'Op and Kinetic' art of the 1960s. Pantone was especially inspired by the work of Carlos Cruz-Diez, Julio Le Parc, Luis Tomasello, and Victor Vasarely. Although he generally creates his work in a dedicated studio space, Pantone continues finding himself fascinated by the unique energy of the street and the challenge of working in public.
The Albright-Knox's Public Art Initiative aims to enhance a shared sense of place and cultural identity in the urban and suburban landscapes of Western New York. The goal of the Initiative is to create spaces of dialogue where diverse communities can socially engage, actively respond, and cooperatively produce great public art that is capable of empowering individuals, creating strongefrlipe pantone artist
r neighborhoods, and establishing Western New York as a critical cultural center.
The AK Public Art Initiative engages the diversity of the region's artistic energies by integrating a wide range of artwork into accessible spaces that allow for public interaction with local artists, who work in varied forms of media, from traditional to forward-thinking interactions, sculpture to performance, and the permanent to the ephemeral.