They unravel from the walls like a dream, tendrils of bright colors streaming along the walls as though they grew from the building itself, at once taking over the room and becoming part of it. This is the art of Crystal Wagner, the latest artist in residence to collaborate with Viacom employees to transform the places where Viacom lives and creates as part of the larger Art at Viacom initiative. A contemporary, interdisciplinary artist, Wagner is passionate about combining two and three dimensional forms, using unconventional materials and printmaking for massive installations.
Arrayed along the escalators leading from street level to the building’s cavernous lobby, the swirl of colors greets thousands of Viacom employees and visitors as they arrive at the company’s Times Square headquarters. Wagner, who titled the work Wild Efflux 2015, designed it “to celebrate the path of all the creative people in our building.” That creative cast – the Viacom employees who daily inhabit Viacom’s spaces – responded in force, laboring with Wagner and two assistants in shifts to transform 22,250 feet of brightly colored table cloth and nearly half a mile of chicken wire into a flowing, living expression of the creativity at the heart of our company.
The Times Square installation follows a similarly explosive piece titled Verve that Wagner installed in Viacom’s downtown Manhattan office earlier this year. “Verve is an organic adrenaline rush, a bio form that undulates and grows as it adapts to new spaces in the 21st century, consumes the white walls of the past and celebrates creativity as the spark to which all things grow.”
Wagner’s art will remain up in Viacom’s offices for several months before some pieces are placed in the company’s permanent collection and others are sent on a tour of our global office network. VH1’s “The 20” will air a segment devoted to Wagner’s work with Viacom on Saturday, July 11.
Art at Viacom, which employees and art enthusiasts can see on Instagram (@artatviacom) and Tumblr (artatviacom.tumblr.com), launched with a similarly dramatic installation by floral artist Rebecca Louise Law.