There was a palpable, expectant energy permeating MILK Studio’s Chelsea outpost last Tuesday, August 21st. Mostly driven by intriguing rumors and press feeds, the buzz that preceded the event was evident in the crowds that were queueing up well before sun down. What drew them? Word on the street was that some of the coolest New York-based artists on the scene had been invited by Ford (yes, as in the original car company) to riff on and play with the idea of “fusion” – in part to hail the arrival of the All-New Ford Fusion car, as well as open it up to new audiences, demographics that would never normally associate an American car company with cutting edge interactive art. At least until Tuesday.
The event kicked off with a conversation/press conference between MILK Studios founder, principal curators, the 3 featured artists (Mathew Williams, Cyril Duval and Nathaniel Brown), and J Mays, chief creative officer for Ford. Discussing inspiration for both the design of the fusion car and of the artists’ interpretations of the concept of fusion, the convivial talk set the stage for a night of sensorial explorations. Not only were the works of the 3 artists on display, but also “behind the scenes” glimpses of the evolution of the car’s design. Who knew that detailed replicas of the care are sculpted out of clay before actually being produced? Such an old school practice, creating an oddly compelling “sculpture” took many by surprise.
As cocktails were poured and delicious bites passed, partygoers were treated to stunning visual performances by dancers with projected images playing across their bodies. Later on, music played from one of the most bad ass DJ booths imaginable. Notable attendants included actor and filmmaker, Adrian Grenier, snowboarder, Shaun White, and MILK’s founder Mazdack Rassi. Though we’re not sure how many attendants will go out and buy an all-new Ford Fusion when it comes out this fall, Ford certainly infused the night with some creative beauty and inspired fun.
The exhibition debuted a month before the new Ford Fusion launches nationally and exemplifies Ford’s evolving design strategy, which includes the use of virtual reality technology, leverages new sustainable materials, and brings together creative disciplines to advance exterior design and the in-car environment.
Photos by Angela Pham/BFAnyc.com, courtesy of Ford and MILK
“Wall to Wall: The Fusion Collective,” presented by Ford and MILK, opening in New York today then traveling to Los Angeles next week, brings together multimedia artists including Matthew Williams, previous creative director for Lady Gaga who now collaborates with Kanye West and ShowStudio; and Cyril Duval, renowned fashion and conceptual art designer. Other artists are Nathaniel Brown, WIFE and Brian DeGraw. All have created original artwork and opened up their studios to the public, documenting their creative processes through editorial and video content on www.fusionists.co.
The virtual exhibition will be brought to life during gallery openings in New York today and in Los Angeles Aug. 29. Finished works of art will be showcased to the public on www.fusionists.co, with select pieces being donated to art and design schools in New York, Los Angeles and Detroit to inspire the next generation of designers.
“‘Wall to Wall’ is a modern show of sculpture, sound, paint, projections, choreography, film, light, music and automobiles that mixes the highly conceptual with the highly entertaining,” said Geremy Jasper, co-founder and creative director of LEGS, MILK’s in-house creative and production company. “In curating the show, we found artists that fuse together different creative disciplines in bold and cutting-edge fashions – each constructing their own unique multimedia world. It’s a really diverse group of work, and we’re thrilled to get this caliber of talent and vision under one roof.”