Aakash Nihalani is fast becoming recognized as one of the US’s most striking emerging installation artists. Celebrated for his ephemeral modifications of the urban landscape, the young Brooklyn-based tape specialist wields an abstract narrative of isometric shapes and flamboyant hues grounded in quiet irony and idiosyncratic precision. The fluidity of his simple, colorful style, which employs familiar shapes to produce unexpected visuals, initiates an inviting, living dialogue that traverses the chaos of city streets, the white walls of the gallery, and the constancy of home.

Nihalani has built a global fan base by selectively placing his artwork on sidewalks and public spaces around New York. His squares, rectangles and cubes, which are constructed from strips of instantly identifiable fluorescent tape, give three-dimensional qualities and a new, often humorous, perspective to the windows, doorways, cement pavement, floor tiles, chain-link fences, bricks, building contours and subway spaces within which they are embedded. Nihalani completes all public art pieces on-site with little to no advanced planning. His style readily adapts to the interior gallery space and into individual works of art, thereby escaping its customarily fleeting existence while continuing to fuse his aesthetic and conceptual objectives.

Nihalani has fashioned a visual language all his own. The neon in his work highlights details that might otherwise go unnoticed, while his minimalist patterns form self-contained pockets which encourage examination both within the isolated space and of the world at large. His work often engages the public by creating three-dimensional environments that can be physically entered, transforming passersby or gallery visitors into participants and offering them a momentary escape from daily life.

“My street work consists mostly of isometric rectangles and squares. I selectively place these graphics around New York to highlight the unexpected contours and elegant geometry of the city itself.

“For however briefly, I am trying to offer people a chance to step into a different New York than they are used to seeing, and in turn, momentarily escape from routine schedules and lives. We all need the opportunity to see the city more playfully, as a world dominated by the interplay of very basic color and shape. I try to create a new space within the existing space of our everyday world for people to enter freely, and unexpectedly ‘disconnect’ from their reality.

“I’m not trying to push a certain highbrow logic or philosophy or purposefully communicate through the esoteric medium of art. I work instinctively, trying to follow my gut about the sensation of color and space, and have fun doing it.

“People need to understand that how it is isn’t how it has to be. My work is created in reaction to what we readily encounter in our lives, sidewalks and doorways, buildings and bricks. I’m just connecting the dots differently to make my own picture. Others need to see that they can create too, connecting their own dots, in their own places.”


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