As visitors walk into Tropicália, the multi-media installation at Gallery Rivaa by experimental artist Peter Gerakaris, they’re offered a pair of 3D glasses. The ambient music playing on a long loop throughout the space is as much a part of the exhibit as the intensely colored murals that flow and glow among the walls.
Pop-Botania is the name Gerakaris has given to his own genre of art displayed here, a vivid collage of (mostly) his own art so large that it’s an immersive experience of color, shapes both natural and technological, and scale.
Commisioned to celebrate the recent groundbreaking of the new applied sciences campus of nearby Cornell University, the show fuses art, music, and technology. The new school won’t be open for two more years, but the art is meant to be emblematic of its potential.
Gerakaris created Tropicália’s components by hand at first, in pen and paint and small scale, then scanned the art, remixed it with additional elements, and printed the outcome in grand scale using an industrial printer.
Once it was mounted on the walls of Gallery Rivaa, he painstakingly cut, painted, and further collaged the piece in place to maximize the vivacity and impact of the artwork. All in all, it spans over 1000 square feet.
Also spotlighted within that space are a scattering of Gerakaris’s smaller pieces, particularly his framed Masks series, displayed on white columns among the overwhelming vividness of Tropicália.