Artist Liu Bolin the Invisible Man at Eli Klein Fine Art

Stuffed Pandas by Liu Bolin at Eli Klein Fine Arts gallery.

For several years now, Chinese artist Liu Bolin's disappearing act has happened in plain sight. Initially a reaction to the Chinese government shutting down his studio ("they want me to be invisible, I'll be invisible") as well as other, state-sanctioned repressive actions directed at his colleagues, artist Liu Bolin's extraordinary works of public camouflage have taken on new meanings over time, as the artist has become alarmed by China's increasingly rabid-consumerist culture, and the alienation it can bring to the individual. It's great stuff: clever, witty, pointed, and just a lot of fun to look at.      

Wall of brightly-covered beverages by Liu Bolin at Lost In Art exhibit.

Artist Liu Bolin's artwork in China is part of the Invisible Man art show in Manhattan.

Liu Bolin's Disappearing Act at Eli Klein Fine Art

Last night the Eli Klein Fine Arts gallery (conveniently located on Soho's West Broadway) opened their latest Liu Bolin artist exhibition, Lost In Art, a sort of best-of show of the artist's most recent work, mostly painted and shot in both China and here in New York City. In each case, the concept is the same: Liu Bolin stands in front of an often-busy city- or commercial-scape, and his assistants paint him–his actual, physical body–to create Liu Bolin's disappearing act. We love all of these–the display case of stuffed Pandas, the wall of brightly-covered beverages, the 9/11 Memorial tiles–and even though we had seen many of the pieces before, on the internet, when viewed big and live and in person they are truly stunning. You can't help but smile. And by the way, that's Liu Bolin the invisible man at the opening last night, without paint, pictured at bottom.   

Liu Bolin's disappearing act at the 9/11 Memorial tile in his art exhibit in NYC.

Liu Bolin: Lost in Art at Eli Klein Fine Art gallery also features four commissioned works in which Chinese artist Liu Bolin created set pieces using fashion from Jean Paul Gaultier, Elber Albaz of Lanvin, Angela Missoni, and Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli from Valentino, and then placed the designers themselves (camouflaged, of course) into the scene. These are less interesting than Bolin's more political/cultural work, but still pretty cool. Really the only disappointment of the evening was when, after about 45 minutes of hunting around Nolita, we learned that Bolin's awesome-looking collaboration with the street artist JR was taken down after only two days! So sad. But CollabCubed did a nice piece on JR and Liu Bolin's apparently extremely temporary public installation using lots of photos by NewYorkStreetArt. Thankfully, Liu Bolin: Lost in Art at Eli Klein Fine Arts will be up through May 11, and is definitely worth checking out the next time you're in Soho.       

JR's street art exhibit, part of Liu Bolin the Invisible Man art show in Manhattan.

Liu Bolin: Lost in Art at Eli Klein Fine Art details 

Liu Bolin: Lost in Art will be at the Eli Klein Fine Art through May 11. Eli Klein Fine Art is located on West Broadway between Houston and Prince Streets, and is open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eli Klein Fine Art is conveniently located nearby Glenwood's downtown apartments in Manhattan. For more information, please see the Eli Klein website, here.  

Artist Liu Bolin at the Eli Klein art gallery.

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