Romero Britto Makes an Artsy Splash
by Rachel Bowie
Romero Britto and Stephen Ross
|Best Buddies Friendship Bear by Romero Britto, at the Time Warner Center|
Ask Romero Britto about the best place in the world to display his work, and he’ll tell you: the Time Warner Center in New York. In June the internationally acclaimed Brazilian Pop artist will debut a brand-new exhibit at the Columbus Circle retail space, and he can’t wait. “I want to share my art with as many people as possible,” Britto says. “People come from all over the world to see the Time Warner Center. Now, they will see my art as well.”
The art installation is the result of a collaboration between Britto and Stephen Ross, chairman and CEO of The Related Companies and the man behind the Time Warner Center. Ross had recently commissioned Britto to create artwork for the Miami Dolphins’ Sun Life Stadium (Ross partially owns the team) and was thrilled with the final result. When space opened up for an exhibition at the Time Warner Center, Britto was the obvious choice. “Romero’s work is unique,” Ross says. “It’s colorful and happy, and the public responds to it very favorably. The center is all about destination retail. Having Romero’s work there will complement this idea.”
It makes sense. Ever since Britto arrived on the art scene, his career has continually grown bigger and bolder. He got his start in 1989 by designing an Absolut logo featuring his artwork for the company’s famous ad campaign. His creation for Absolut proved the instant appeal of his work, not to mention the scale of his talent.
With a style marked by electrifying colors and contemporary Pop themes influenced by his Pop predecessors, Britto quickly developed a cult following— one that has grown larger and more ardent over time.
Although he’s based in Miami, Britto’s work is represented in galleries and museums around the world. His sculptures in places like the Basel Convention Center in Switzerland, while his paintings can be found in homes owned by celebrities and politicians alike. No stranger to New York, Britto has already displayed his work at the Opera Gallery, as well as JFK and La Guardia Airports. But the Time Warner Center may be his grandest stage. “There isn’t a gallery in New York that’s the size of that space,” he says. “Plus, the location! The building itself is a beautiful piece of art—it’s the perfect setting for my work.”
And Britto promises he will make great use of the space. “Expect an exhibition that is very vibrant and full of passion and enthusiasm, just like the people that come to New York,” he says. 10 Columbus Circle; britto.com
Cover shoot: May/June 2014 issue of Gotham magazine.