Bentonville, Arkansas is more known for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, The Momentary, the Ozark Mountains, hiking/biking, cosmopolitan amenities, luxury homes, millionaires (and a couple of billionaires), – than it is for being a vibrant organic street art scene. Nonetheless, art dealer and curator Charlotte Dutoit and her team at Justkids have been bringing street art names to do public installations here for a decade or so, and the dynamism of the works adds the influence of ‘the street’ to the city while preserving its scrubbed wholesome whitebox sensibility.
Here we have the newest public art installation from Spidertag from Argentina, who BSA showed to readers more than a decade ago when he was creating artworks with string and nails. At the time, he was sharing a studio at an alternative art spot in Madrid called La Tabacalera and creating unpermissioned, uncommissioned, works that wended their way through small streets – one nail to the next. Later he disrupted his own public art practice with experimental, electrified, glowing results that became more permanent than temporary.
His newest captivating creation artfully combines technology, design, and artistic ingenuity, interactivity, and playful energy to the city. Curated by Justkids and made possible through the support of OZ Art NWA, this permanent public art piece, named Interactive Neon Mural 16 (INM#16), shines brightly in the heart of the Downtown square. Encompassing 4,700 square feet, this monumental masterpiece represents Spidertag’s most ambitious project to date, inviting viewers to actively engage with the artwork by manipulating the light and motions with their phones.
It is not usual to see a fusion of art and technology within the realm of muralism, but examples do exist in many cities we’ve traveled. Spidertag continues his of extensive research and experimentation, honing in on cutting-edge components that allow him to construct luminous murals, defy traditional techniques, and surprise viewers. INM#16 is a complex maze composed of 77 harmoniously arranged geometric shapes, including circles, triangles, waves, lines, and rectangles, mounted on aluminum mesh panels. This composition actively engages the audience, enabling them to alter the colors of the shapes through a dedicated app, ensuring a distinctive and dynamic viewing experience with every interaction.
“Creating art that is accessible to everyone is incredibly rewarding for me, which is why INM#16 was designed to generate a unique experience for each viewer,” says Spidertag. According to Justkids, the project spanned over a year from conceptualization to installation, with the team managing technical aspects, logistics, lighting, and electronic elements, to ensure the successful realization of Spidertag’s vision.
“We are thrilled to collaborate once again with Oz Art NWA and enrich Bentonville’s remarkable public art collection,” says Charlotte Dutoit. “He brilliantly merges the spectacular and the playful, and the artwork truly comes alive at sunset!”