Should New York Go Neon? Haas&Hahn Color the City

Should New York Go Neon? Haas&Hahn Color the City

Sarah Coffey
May 11, 2011

Dutch artists Jeroen Koolhaas and Dre Urhahn — who work under the name Haas&Hahn— want to paint New York neon... at least part of it. In an exhibition opening at Storefront this weekend, they're proposing an "intervention" into Lower Manhattan's low-income housing — a neon rainbow of color that makes Julian Schabel's pink condo building look subdued.

Part of the Festival of Ideas for The New City, the Storefront exhibition showcases paintings, documentary footage, and sketches by Haas&Hahn, including their Favela paintings in Brazil — a project that combines art and activism. In collaboration with young people from the area, they've been decorating the slums of Rio and Sao Paulo with giant rainbow-colored murals.

In the Storefront show, they're presenting a similar project for New York, although its unlikely to be realized any time soon. They explain, "Due to bureaucratic and cultural difficulties within the social fabric of the city, the project proved to be impossible to achieve within the time frame. We hope that this exhibition will inspire individuals, communities or groups interested and able to facilitate such an enterprise, and will step forth and contact us for a future possible intervention in New York."

What do you think? Would you like to see New York go neon?

Painting Urbanism: Learning from Rio
Opening Reception: Friday, May 13th, 7pm
Storefront for Art and Architecture
97 Kenmare Street
New York, NY 10012
Tel. 212.431.5795

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