Skip to content
[account_popup]
subscribe
[account_button]
SEARCH

Categories

LASTEST

Joel Mesler "Pool Party"

Let’s Go Swimming: Joel Mesler Crafts a Pool Party at Rockefeller Center with Art Production Fund

With his latest installation’s debut at The Rink at Rockefeller Center, the New York-based artist brings his signature eccentric and fun-loving artwork to midtown Manhattan from July 2–21.

It’s been a busy summer for Joel Mesler, who is taking both New York City and Provence by storm this season with his latest projects and collaborations. But there is always time for playful summer fun. In May, the artist threw the first pitch for a New York Mets game to celebrate Mets owner Steve Cohen’s fusion of contemporary art and baseball. In June, his solo show, “Joel Mesler: Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” opened at Levy Gorvy Dayan in New York (on view through July 26).

Now, just in time for July 4th, “Pool Party” is an interactive experience for all Rockefeller Center visitors to explore and transport themselves into crystal blue waters. In collaboration with the Art Production Fund (APF), the artist transforms the landmark into a public art installation.

Joel Mesler Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Pool Party,” photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of Art Production Fund.

The Art Production Fund Continues to Support Trailblazing Artists 

APF, founded in 2000, is a nonprofit dedicated to supporting pioneering contemporary artists and their public projects. From the “Prada Marfa” sculptural art installation in Texas to multiple other public installations at Rockefeller Center, the organization stands at the forefront of ambitious and innovative artistic experiences.

“There’s nothing like summer in New York City, and Joel’s pool transforms the iconic Rockefeller Center Rink like never before,” explained APF Executive Director Casey Fremont. “We are thrilled to present this joyful and refreshing work to the diverse visitors of Rockefeller Center. and we hope that these symbols of hope and happiness resonate with the public.”

“There’s nothing like summer in New York City,”

—Casey Fremont
Joel Mesler Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Pool Party,” photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of Art Production Fund.

Joel Mesler Ushers Summer Fun Fused with Childhood Reflections

“Welcome to my pool party,” announced Mesler at the show’s ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 2nd. “Let’s go swimming!” From the rink’s traditional flagpoles to the golden fountain, Mesler took over the public space from all angles. 193 vibrant flags with his classic balloon font read sayings like “love,” “hugs,” and “you.” Pink and blue beach balls bounce around the space, even floating in the iconic Prometheus bronze fountain and mimicking the visions of a day at the pool. 

Mesler’s newest sculptural installations take a pool party to the next level. Atop the artist’s classic vinyl pool print, the rink’s central space is filled with enlarged trompe l’oeil beach balls, pool floaties, and balloon sculptures that read “Love” and “Joy.” Each piece is meticulously detailed and hand-painted to mimic the intricacies of its inspiration, a testament to Mesler’s surrealist talents.

Joel Mesler Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Pool Party,” photo by Daniel Greer, courtesy of Art Production Fund.

Joel Mesler Reflects on His Summer Memories

For Mesler, a day at the pool provides grounding solace and welcome refuge, inspired by his own childhood memories of pool parties in Los Angeles. Despite the neighboring traffic and office buildings, these sculptural elements transport the visitor into a far-away world of self expression and the artist’s own introspection into his personal experiences. 

“Presenting this work publicly at Rockefeller Center is a dream come true,” explained Mesler. “I hope visitors take the time to immerse themselves in the themes of love, joy and community in the height of the summer months. Come and play!” 

“I hope visitors take the time to immerse themselves in the themes of love, joy, and community,”

—Joel Mesler
Joel Mesler “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” at Lévy Gorvy Dayan Gallery; Image courtesy of Lévy Gorvy Dayan.

Joel Mesler on view at Lévy Gorvy Dayan and Chateau La Coste this Summer

Mesler’s coinciding exhibition “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” at Lévy Gorvy Dayan takes over the gallery’s Upper East Side beaux-arts townhouse and transforms the space into a window into the artist’s summery world.

The gallery presents direct introspection into Mesler’s own personal journey, as each room vignette features playful, sometimes existentialist, nods to his childhood, adulthood, and midlife. Much like the Rockefeller Center show, the exhibition embraces the imagery and sentiment of summer fun–visitors first walk into a room entirely covered with Mesler’s signature pool print that echoes his “Pool Party” design. Another room is an accurate recreation of the artist’s personal office, including a desk laden with journals, family photographs, and hand-written notes. 

In addition to his New York projects, Mesler soon travels to France to collaborate with Chateau La Coste in Provence. “Me, You, and the Sunset” will feature his classic beach ball design alongside vibrant paintings that further blend the joys of the summer season with the fluctuating ups and downs of personal growth. All three of Mesler’s latest projects transport the visitor into an aquatic and playful vignette of artistic exploration and playful talent–a fleeting summer vacation with a long-lasting message to seek the joyful side of life. 

Joel Mesler “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” at Lévy Gorvy Dayan Gallery; Image courtesy of Lévy Gorvy Dayan.
Joel Mesler “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” Installation view of Joel Mesler’s “Kitchens are good rooms to cry in” at Lévy Gorvy Dayan Gallery; Image courtesy of Lévy Gorvy Dayan.

SAME AS TODAY

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

READ THIS NEXT

Whitewall spoke with Melissa Joseph about her first-ever public art exhibition for Art in Focus at Rockefeller Center. 
Michelle Hellman, founder and curator of Artist Plate Project, shares what she has her eye on during art month this spring.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.