Life Through a Prism
Color Factory, a pop-up gallery in SOHO offers another Instagramable experience fusing color and poetry through art.
The Color Factory in SOHO is the brainchild of event planner Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day. Her blog features lifestyle through art and is adorably creative. And The Color Factory falls right in line with her brand.
Entry into the rainbow-colored building leads you to stadium-style seating where you wait your turn to enter. Never a dull moment in this place though. You are served complimentary Mochi ice cream available in a variety of colors and flavors. Bathroom break before you enter? The glitter bathroom sparkles from ceiling to floor, including the toilet seats.
You check everything you have from your coat to your bag and phone if you wish. Every person is issued a card you can scan in each room along the way. The card links to your email and sends you selfies from every art station. Perfect pictures with your hands free to enjoy and explore.
Absolutely everything is presented in a rainbow. As you move through the 16 rooms of the exhibit, you interact at every turn. The entire exhibit feels like choose your own adventure. The first hallway you come to has a rainbow of buttons available. Pick your color.
As the door swings open to the next room, you are asked to partner up. The room looks like a visitor center in a prison. You wear headphones and cannot interact with your partner. The headphones give you instructions on choosing colors to describe your partners personality and mood. Then you draw a picture of them while only looking at their face.
As you move through to the next room, the colors you chose lead you and your partner to a snack combined just for you. Complimentary candies in two completely different flavors are presented to you as a representation of your unique combination. Amazing.
One room after another contains color coordinated adventures and treats. Seriously, it is the most fun I have had at an art installation.
Then I hit the coolest room. You step in and stand on a square. Each square asks you a question and you choose one direction or another. Are you cozy in small spaces or do you feel claustrophobic? When you go to the movies where do you like to sit? If given the chance, would you go on a reality TV show? Is your bedroom messy at this moment? You choose your path one question at a time until you are lead to one of 10 doors.
Open the door to find out your color. I walked into a world of deep crimson red. The selfie station snapped my picture and a few more questions led me to my ideal color: Imperial Gazpacho. Hysterical.
As I exited the red room, I picked up the card labeled Imperial Gazpacho and turned it over. The reverse side had an instruction on what to do next…use my instruction to dance. As a raised my eyes, I realized I was suddenly in a 70’s nightclub. A glittered wall opposed a mirrored wall and I was standing on a light up dance floor. Disco was blasting. I took another look at my card. It read Your whole body is cold soup. Ooze baby. Oh. My. God. This place is amazing.
The experience ran the spectrum from cool, to creative, to bizarre. At one point I was looking at the taxonomy of cornflakes. Then a collection of fake throw-up from around the country. Then a collection of things found at the bottom of the ocean. The entire exhibit was surprising and crazy. And while you enjoyed the bizarre finds in every room, the staff kept serving you mini-fizzy, colorful drinks and tiny tastes of luminous gelato.
And throughout each room, you were reminded of your locale. New York City with all of its quirks was on full display. There was a range of color-coded emotions for how you feel while waiting for a subway train. Lists on how to eat in Manhattan. All of it was so perfectly New York.
But the final room was the pièce de résistance. An entire blue room with a very large swimming pool sized ball pit. The balls were so deep you had to hold the handrail to even enter. It is entirely possible to fall in so deep you cannot stand up. Adults and children were laughing and falling. As you scanned your card, the overhead cameras took pictures of you splayed out in the giant blue sea of balls.
And just when you thought it was over, it kept going. More gelato was served as you left. There were 10 free souvenirs to choose from as you exited. And a secret color map. The map was of the surrounding SOHO neighborhood detailing locations of additional exhibitions dotted throughout the streets.
What an outrageous experience. Event planners plus artists equals non-stop fun. I am usually suspect of these Instagramable pop-up experiences. But once again, I was happy to be surprised.
I love visiting a museum. But there is only so much you can do in a stuffy art setting. I appreciate the classics. But sometimes I just want to be totally entertained. Draw a picture without looking? Yes. Jump in the largest ballpit I have ever seen? Yes. Ooze to disco classics on the dance floor? Yes.
Yes to all of it.
Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious. -Oscar Wilde