Art Collective FriendsWithYou Bring Color and Joy to New York

FriendsWithYou's Rainbow City installation presented by AOL

FriendsWithYou's Rainbow City installation presented by AOL

Miami art collective FriendsWithYou is doing their part to bring happiness to Gotham city. In their exhibition at The Hole titled, “:)”, and throughout their massive Rainbow City installation presented by AOL, color is abundant in their brand of cheerful and child-like Pop Art meets Minimalism. FriendsWithYou has brought its Rainbow City installation of 40 monolithic, stripey and colorful air-filled sculptures to town where it will reside until July 5. Coinciding with the opening of section 2 of The High Line, Rainbow City occupies a 16,000 sq ft lot on 30th St and 10th Ave where the High Line currently ends.

FriendsWithYou's Rainbow City installation presented by AOL

Rainbow City was originally commissioned by the Luminato Festival of the Arts in Toronto and showcased again during Miami Art Basel. Essentially, Rainbow City is designed as a fun, colorful playground for children and adults alike, where the installations can be interacted and played with. Some of the inflatables can be spun and bopped, while others function as environments that can be entered and explored. “The essence of Rainbow City is to do something that’s actually really important in NYC right now,” says Samuel Borkson, half of the FriendsWithYou team. “Even though New Yorkers are open to being friendly, people are isolated in modern times, they’re on their phone or they’re in a rush – they’re not generally engaged with their surroundings. What we hope Rainbow City is is an environment where you can let the child inside be evoked and you can really open your mind and open yourself, your friends, and the people aorund you to something new.”

Starburst (2011) by FriendsWithYou at The Hole gallery

The theme of “Magic, Luck, and Friendship” is continued throughout the inaugural exhibition of The Hole gallery’s new space at 312 Bowery. In FriendsWithYou’s first New York solo show works by Daniel Buren, Elsworth Kelly and Blinky Palermo are reimagined through the lens of a toddler. The relentlessly cheerful installation at The Hole includes 22 artworks, most of them made of lasercut MDF, car paint and acrylic. Some works have googly eyes that swivel back and forth and the smiley face is a prominent motif. In this exhibition the gallery is turned into a playground and the viewer a child.

Installation view of FriendsWithYou's show :) at The Hole gallery

Installation view of FriendsWithYou's show :) at The Hole gallery

Rainbow City presented by AOL is at 30th Street and 10th Avenue through July 5th
For more information, including hours, log on to

FriendsWithYou’s exhibition :) at The Hole is open through August 6th. For more information log on to

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