Light artist Leo Villareal recently unveiled his newest LED sculpture inside a glass-front lobby on the Avenue of the Americas. Called “Volume (Durst),” the chandelier-like installation was commissioned by the Durst Organization to be enjoyed by its employees, as well as the rest of the city. The piece incorporates 86,400 LED lights programmed by Villareal to pulse in a myriad of shapes and patterns that never repeat themselves.
Villareal’s piece transforms the lobby of the Durst Organization into a crisp exhibition space. The twinkling “Volume (Durst)” is the artist’s largest three-dimensional work to date, spanning ninety feet long by twelve feet high and six feet deep, and filling almost the entire ceiling of the double-height lobby.
The mirage of moving light is made up of 900 thin stainless steel blades, strung in rows from the ceiling in a rectangular shape. Both the LED lights and the blades sparkle, creating a glittery display that reflects the sun during the day, and glows at night. The LEDs pulsate with shapes like squares or circles, softly sweeping waves, or chaotic bleeps.
“Volume (Durst)” is best seen at night, and from the street. Located near Bryant Park and not far from Times Square, the vibrant piece is a surprise for passersby, inset from the street so that visitors feel they’ve discovered a hidden gem as they walk down Sixth Avenue.
Although Villareal’s piece is a private commission, it is positioned behind glass curtains, so that all of New York can enjoy it.