NYC Ballet Art Series
It's nearly impossible to browse Instagram and not be aware of Jihan Zencirli, a Turkish-American artist who creates incredible, large-scale art installations under the name Geronimo. Her installations are made entirely of balloons—which are definitely having a moment, probably due at least in part to Zencirli. Starting in January, Zencirli installed thousands of compostable, biodegradable balloons inside of the New York City Ballet as part of their ongoing NYCB Art Series.
The exhibition opened in January, but the first free public viewing hours were on Saturday. I went to Lincoln Center right at 10am, hoping to view the installation with as few other people as possible (always my goal). Luckily, there weren't too many people, but I do wish there had been fewer toddlers running through the installations, smacking balloons to the ground without any guidance from their parents (PSA: please, don't be these parents).
Zencirli's signature style is loads of colorful, round balloons in varying sizes, undulating and cascading over various buildings and objects. But instead of the rainbow installation that I had seen all over Instagram, I was surprised to find an entirely new, silvery set of mylar balloons. When I asked a volunteer, "where are the other ones—the rainbow balloons?" she told me that they had deflated and Zencirli had decided to change up the exhibition entirely. While I was initially disappointed that I had missed out on seeing the first iteration, it was hard not to be dazzled by the new set.
In fact, the ephemeral nature of balloons is what Zencirli's work is all about—she explains, "Balloons are only for a moment. They disappear and vanish. So rooted in my work is this reminder that you will only have this experience at this particular time. You’re here, you’re seeing it, you’re alive."
New York City Ballet
Free public viewing hours now thru February 25th
Mon-Fri 10 AM – 6 PM
Sat-Sun 10 AM – 12 PM