The Color Factory opens a permanent space in Chicago. Here are the artists he tapped into for his latest immersive experience hub
The Color Factory interactive exhibit, known for its photogenic displays and massive ball pits, is opening its third permanent location, inside Chicago’s Willis Tower.
The 25,000 square foot space, the Color Factory’s largest to date, will feature artists from around the world, including Camille Walala, Yuri Suzuki, Tomislav Topic (of artist duo Quintessenz) Liz West, Anne Patterson, Christine Wong Yap, Harvey and John, and Michele Bernhardt, as well as four artists linked to Chicago in Edra Soto, Akilah Townsend, Adrian Kay Wong and Emilie Baltz.
Long-time Color Factory fans can rest assured that their favorite installations, such as Confetti Accumulation, which constantly rains down confetti, will appear in new guises.
“There are certain things you can’t take off the menu, there would be a revolt if we didn’t have a ball pit!” CEO Tina Malhotra told Artnet News. “There will be familiar rooms, but with a completely new design and color story, and new concepts with new artists. We like to give our artists the freedom to bring their own perspective and color story.
Gathering the lineup, Malhotra said she was looking for “artists willing to step out of the traditional world of museums and galleries,” she said. “When selecting artists, we want people who believe in our mission to inspire joy through the combined power of art and color, and to make art accessible.”
For Walala, a French artist who lives in London, the idea of creating an interactive installation for the Color Factory immediately appealed. She plans a mirrored maze with colorful geometric patterns, similar to a 2017 installation she made at London’s Now Gallery, but inspired by architectural details from prominent buildings in Chicago.
“What I would love to do is bring back your inner child. When you go to the Color Factory, that’s exactly what you get: the excitement of being a kid again,” Walala said. A lot of people are pretty intimidated to go to art spaces. I want people who come to not feel the pressure to express what art means to them. It’s more a question of emotion.
The Color Factory has spent the past two and a half years planning the new space, which will join two other large-scale art installations in the Willis Tower. Olafur Eliasson’s curved metal tile mosaic, Atmospheric wave wallwas unveiled on the facade of the building in January 2021, and that of Jacob Hashimoto Inside this infinite particle of galactic dusta hanging sculpture of paper kite discs hanging from the lobby ceiling.
The Color Factory also has spaces in New York, which opened in 2018, and Housto which followed in 2019. The original Color Factory was unveiled as a pop-up space in San Francisco in 2017, when the craze for immersive art experiences – or Big Fun Art – was still in its infancy. It was an instant success, extending its planned duration from one month to eight and a half months.
“He exploded,” Malhotra said. “It broke the Eventbrite site we were using. Tickets were $30 and they were going on Craigslist for $300!
In the five years since, the appetite for engaging artistic experiences has only grown.
“We stand out,” she said. “We are different from conventional museums. Our experiences truly engage all of the senses. Smell, touch, taste, sight, hearing, and everything is related to art. »
See more works from the featured artists below.
The Color Factory will be on display at Catalog at Willis Tower, 233 South Wacker Drive, Chicago, beginning June 2022.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay one step ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to receive breaking news, revealing interviews and incisive reviews that move the conversation forward.