multi-tasking artist dustin yellin does the nyc ballet

New York artist and man-about-town Dustin Yellin joins forces with the NYC Ballet for an art installation.

by Hannah Ghorashi
21 January 2015, 11:00pm

Photography Andy Romer

If you've spent any time in a New York subway station recently, you may have noticed ads for Dustin Yellin's partnership with the New York City Ballet's third annual Art Series for the 2015 Winter Season plastered among Girls and 12 Monkeys propaganda. Starting this week, the founder of the Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation and general It-artist will display a collection of fifteen 3,000-pound glass sculptures from his Psychogeographiesseries at the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. Additionally, audience members at three special Art Series performances on February 12, 19, and 27 will receive limited edition keepsakes created by Yellin.

His Psychogeographies, which exhibited last year at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica, depict human silhouettes as 3D collages suspended in a clear glass block constructed from layers of heavy glass sheets. Never shy of experimenting with mixed media on a grand scale, Yellin combined magazine cutouts with acrylic paint, compressing miniature portraits, various species of flora, and symbols of pop culture between numerous glass sheets to create the human forms. In an interview with FLATT magazine, Yellin compares the works to microscopic slides, and detailed his sources: "LIFE magazines, art history books, encyclopedias, old dictionaries, people's notebooks that I find in the street, things that I've picked up during my travels…..a lot of the illustrations and photographs that I'm cutting out and putting in the work will be only remaining examples of those images. They're remnants of souls. They'll be lost inside of the abdomen of an exploding supernova and crumbling in a black sea of guitar strings."

Together, the cutouts produce different effects from different angles — memento mori that resemble a cross between an organic, molecular 3D hologram and a sliced and diced Grey's anatomy.

With this exhibit, Yellin will join the ranks of the Art Series' 2013 and 2014 collaborators, Brooklyn collective FAILE and French artist JR, respectively, as well as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Julian Schnabel, with whom NYCB has collaborated in the past. Another notch in the belt of this dynamic artist, who has modeled for Misha Nonoo, collaborated with Vito Schnabel, dated Michelle Williams, and supported himself by breakdancing on sidewalks in a former life.


Text Hannah Ghorashi 
Photography Andy Romer

Dustin Yellin
new york city ballet