Artists-in-residence invite Cosmopolitan guests to ‘Tell Me Your Secrets’

Some artists live for their art.

Brian Gonzalez (alias Taxiplasm) and Renzo Vitale live their art. Literally.

Five hours a night, four nights a week, one of them reports for duty, swathed in black body paint. (On Saturday nights, both undergo the transformation.)

After the body-painting process, the artist then climbs into one of two mirrored, pyramid-shaped pods surrounded by a white, fluidlike substance. A soundtrack of disembodied voices floats overhead and colored lighting shifts as the artist moves.

You can see him. He can see you.

You can even break through the unseen barrier separating artist and audience by adding your voice to the mix. Or by reaching out and touching the artist’s hand. Or by climbing into one of the mirrored pods yourself, facing its shattered-mirror interior on a journey of self-reflection.

Clearly, this is not the sort of thing that springs instantly to mind when you say the words “Strip casino,” but that’s exactly where all this takes place — at least through Sept. 7.

That’s how long Gonzalez and Vitale will present “Tell Me Your Secrets” as artists-in-residence at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ P3Studio.

Outside the studio last Saturday evening, weekend revelers bounce between bars on the casino’s third floor, ponder restaurant menus or take advantage of the pool table in a lounge area.

A few, however, wander past the P3Studio, pausing to read the intriguing invitation on the studio’s exterior wall: “When you step beyond these doors, your whole life will come with you,” it promises.

“It is the doorway between your words and your voice, your face and your reflection, your pain and your catharsis.”

Still other guests peer at two video monitors relaying the action inside: Brian and Renzo, each ensconced in a mirrored pyramid, shifting and stretching, surrounded by liquid, lights and voices. (The live video feed is also streaming live online at tellmeyoursecrets.co.)

A few visitors venture inside to experience “Tell Me Your Secrets” for themselves.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” says Josh Magana of Costa Mesa, Calif., after seeing — and hearing — “Tell Me Your Secrets” for himself. “It’s different — very dark. A bit of a Gothic kind of thing.”

And definitely not what he expected to see during his Vegas visit.

“No,” Magana blurts out. “Not like this. This is totally random.”

No, not really.

If there’s one thing “Tell Me Your Secrets” isn’t, it’s random.

Just ask Gonzalez and Vitale, who have been collaborating since 2010, when Gonzalez was shooting a fashion film and needed a pianist. He told a friend, who also knew Vitale.

Vitale showed up at the shoot “and said, ‘Hi — I am the pianist,’ ” Vitale recalls.

That was in New York, where both artists are based.

Gonzalez grew up in South Texas before attending film school and becoming a multidisciplinary visual artist. (He’s currently co-directing a feature-length documentary with Sean Ono Lennon.)

Vitale, from Italy, is a pianist, composer and acoustic engineer, with a Ph.D. in acoustics and master’s degrees in electronic engineering and English as well as piano. (He’s recorded two solo albums, “Zero Space” and “Storm,” and has won grants and prizes for his research on such topics as architectural acoustics and music communication.)

Both are involved with the New York-based art organization Contaminate, which focuses on “experiential art,” according to co-founder Alessandro Spreafico. “We’re trying to convince people to start collecting experiences.”

The experience that became “Tell Me Your Secrets” first took shape when Gonzalez was invited to submit a proposal for the P3Studio by the nonprofit Art Production Fund, which produces public art projects — and helped The Cosmopolitan develop and curate its artists-in-residence program.

The invitation came in the wake of a 16-screen video installation Gonzalez created in Times Square and additional video installations at the Standard hotels in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, he recalls.

“Tell Me Your Secrets” was “originally conceived for an art salon,” and produced by Contaminate to “work out how the technology and the music would mesh” and “see how the immersive experience could work,” Gonzalez says.

To create The Cosmopolitan’s version of “Tell Me Your Secrets,” Gonzalez and Vitale “built everything in New York,” Vitale notes, then rented a truck to transport everything to Las Vegas.

And Vitale designed the algorithm that translates the shared “secrets” into vibration patterns that not only form the project’s soundtrack but set off ripples in the fluid surrounding the pod-shaped pyramids, which “acts as a solid if you punch it,” he explains.

Those who find themselves inside those mirrored pyramids — artists and visitors — see “a broken image of yourself,” Gonzalez explains.

“But the longer you’re in the pyramid and you study your own reflection,” he adds, “it will morph into a collective truth.”

Or, as Gonzalez describes it, as “a multisensory immersive experience” — one that “will always change because of the human elements,” he adds. “The people in the pyramid are experiencing what we are experiencing. We will go to that place with you — you are not alone.”

And because “the pyramid is not entirely closed,” Vitale adds, “there’s an invitation for a connection. People could reach out with their hands and touch and play with the fluid,” or “start a conversation with you.”

Which is exactly what happened during Gonzalez’s first night inside one of “Tell Me Your Secrets’ ” mirrored pyramids.

At first, it was “just a void — a sort of infinity of yourself. Then, before I knew it, someone would reach out,” the artist recalls, noting “the whole idea of active reciprocity within that physical dialogue. The human element is the key factor to all good art.”

Contact reporter Carol Cling at ccling@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Las Vegas residency
Artist Joshua Vides created a "White Wedding" chapel for Billy Idol's Vegas residency (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas
Try the Burning History cocktail at Zuma In Las Vegas (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES final night showcases Drake at XS Nightclub
Drake performed for CES attendees and club-goers at XS Nightclub in Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in the early morning hours of Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (John Katsilometes Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Happy Hour party at Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace
Conventioneers mingled during the Hardware Massive CES 2019 Happy Hour Bash at The Hangover Suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
CES 2019 Has A Cordless Hair Dryer
CES Has A Cordless Hair Dryer (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails
Print intricate designs, your pet or your face on your nails (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES 2019: Panel talks Impossible Burger 2.0
Panel talks Impossible Burger at CES during launch at Border Grill on Monday, Jan. 7. (Ben Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets
Momofuku Makes A Cocktail With Bok Choy And Beets (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Dream of AJ Montgomery
AJ Montgomery lost part of his leg in a vehicle accident but found his dream as a performer in “Le Reve.” (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Kelly Clinton-Holmes of the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes chats with Kelly Clinton-Holmes, director of the Stirling Club's New Year's Eve entertainment.
Month-by-month entertainment coming in 2019
“True Detective” Season 3, HBO (Jan. 13) Travis Scott, T-Mobile Arena (Feb. 6) Robbie Williams, Encore Theatre at Wynn Las Vegas (March 6, 8, 9, 13, 15 and 16) “Game of Thrones” Season 8, HBO (April) Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas Motor Speedway (May 17-19) “Fiddler on the Roof,” The Smith Center (June 4-9) “The Lion King” (July 19) Psycho Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay (Aug. 16-18) Life is Beautiful, downtown Las Vegas (Sept. 20-22) “Tim Burton @ the Neon Museum” (Oct. 15) “Frozen 2” (Nov. 22) “Star Wars: Episode IX” (Dec. 20)
Lacey Huszcza invites you to find something to love at the Las Vegas Philharmonic
Lacey Huszcza, executive director of the Las Vegas Philharmonic talks about the orchestra's wealth of programming. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Gina Marinelli offers La Strega preview
Gina Marinelli used a pop-up New Year’s Eve dinner at Starboard Tack to preview items she’ll feature at her new Summerlin restaurant, La Strega. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New Year’s Eve at Sparrow + Wolf
Sparrow + Wolf’s New Year’s Eve party was a sort of official unveiling of its newly renovated space. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Debra Kelleher Of The Stirling Club
Debra Kelleher, DK Hospitality President talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the Stirling Club.
Richard Ditton Of The Stirling Club
Richard Ditton, an investment partner of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
NYE at the Stirling Club
John Katsilometes reports from the reopening of the Stirling Club on New Year's Eve 2018.
Michael Stapleton of the Stirling Club
Michael Stapleton, COO of the Stirling Club talks with Johnny Kats about the reopening of the club.
Recap the Countdown on Fremont Street — VIDEO
Nearly 40,000 people packed Fremont Street to enjoy America's Party Downtown. As the tradition stands, Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman counted down the clock on the 3rd Street Stage, alongside her husband and former mayor, Oscar Goodman.
New Year's Eve live from the Las Vegas Strip Bellagio Fountains - Video
Reporter Aaron Drawhorn near the Bellagio Fountains as hundreds of thousands gather to celebrate New Year's Eve in Las Vegas
Ryan Reaves describes the flavors in Training Day beer
Ryan Reaves talks about the flavor of Training Day, the new beer from 7Five Brewing that was launched at the PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ryan Reaves describes his new beer
Golden Knights winger Ryan Reaves talks about his new beer from 7Five Brewing at a launch party at PKWY Tavern on West Flamingo Road. (Al Mancini/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas' five biggest NYE concerts
Imagine Dragons at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Lady Gaga at The Park Theater at Park MGM, Maroon 5 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Bruno Mars at T-Mobile Arena, and Tenacious D at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo
Celebrate New Years Day, Hangover Day and Bloody Mary Day at Cabo Wabo (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant
Michael Symon, chef and owner of Mabel's BBQ, talks about his first Las Vegas restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye @bizutesfaye
New American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
American Eagle flagship on the Las Vegas Strip lets you customize your clothing
Bellagio Conservatory display is Majestic Holiday Magic
Majestic Holiday Magic at the Bellagio Conservatory
Las Vegas Ready for 2019 NYE Fireworks Show
The city of Las Vegas is ready to celebrate "America's Party" with a new and improved fireworks show that will pay tribute to the Golden Knights.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like