RSVP For Yucatán Opening Event
Created by Ruvan Wijesooriya

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Ilegal Mezcal and Gramercy Park Hotel’s Rose Bar have come together to collaborate on a quarterly art series. Curated by Rose Bar’s Creative Director, Matthew Green, and Ilegal Mezcal’s brand team lead by Kaylan Rexer, the series takes place in Ilegal’s West Village home, the old Perry Street theatre.

The ongoing gallery series aims to showcase art within an experiential environment. The mission is to activate all five senses by creating a physically and mentally stimulating artistic experience. Ilegal Mezcal and Rose Bar aim to create a genuine, unique approach to their exhibitions by establishing a sense of community through the shared personal experience of the art in an intimate setting beyond the four walls of Rose Bar at Gramercy Park Hotel. This environment provides a platform for the art to speak for itself and allows the artist to fully benefit from the profits of their work.


Ruvan makes art to awaken senses and challenge the idea of space. Yucatán, Ruvan’s first exhibition with Ilegal Mezcal and Gramercy Park Hotel includes interactive investigations into perspectives – placing you in reality, virtual reality and the space in between, augmented reality. 

Each photograph taken at the coordinates 21° N 87° W captures the timeless essence of the location and it’s setting. The images place the viewer into Ruvan’s gaze into the skies, through the plants and over the sea of the Yucatan Peninsula,  known as an energy vortex. 

Yucatán is a place that questions reality and offers participants the space to escape from the city. At 31 Perry, the room is equipped with comfortable mattresses on the floor which entice you lie down and to relax. Scattered in the space are large cushions reading poetic statements: YOUR BRAIN IS A PROCESSOR and EXPLORE THE EXPANSION OF SPACE.

Artwork on the wall consists of two Yucatán images ripped together and placed side by side; welcoming a dialogue between two moments, allowing them to co-exist and continually converse. 

A 7 minute film, shown on VR headsets, puts you into the heart of the Yucatán series. A tranquil soundtrack created by Gabriel Andruzzi from The Rapture plays as you experience Ruvan’s analog photography as an animated journey. 

Ruvan’s 3D gallery which is globally accessible online and with a VR headset showcases the exhibition, and a collection of Ruvan’s experimental videos which give new life to the physical artwork within the virtual space. Ruvan’s sensibility of minimalism introduced to the virtual world is reminiscent of work created by Lucio Fontana, James Turrell and Bill Viola. In the interactive video collages, moments complete each other and the viewer’s brain becomes the processor. 

Ruvan’s augmented reality work is accessible through your mobile device. Several interactive moments are triggered by your view of the real world, thus providing new perspectives. 

Ruvan’s new photo book Yucatán has been published on the occasion of the exhibition.