Artwork by Not.Travis at Psychedelic Robot. Photo by Kaleb Fulton.

Visual Arts

Immersive Pop-Up Psychedelic Robot Returns to The Crescent

Bivins Gallery's popular, Instagram-friendly exhibit is back with new installations.

The pop-up took social feeds by storm last year, flaunting colorful interactive installations perfect for your latest Insta-masterpiece. The exhibit originally opened as a 10-day experience, though popular demand commissioned another three months. In June, Psychedelic Robot 2.0 returned to The Crescent bigger than ever, with 13,000-square-feet of multimedia compositions created by 21 local and international artists.

Michael Bivins, co-owner of Bivins Gallery, describes the immersive gallery best in two words: “sensory overload.” Walking into the show through the bubblegum-pink front doors is like falling into a pop-art dream. Each artist brings their own flavor or style to the mix, and as you make your way through the gallery, certain themes unique to each creator become discernable: Punk Me Tender’s butterflies; Not.Travis’ logo, two angular hearts connected by a horizontal line; visually impaired artist OG Millie’s meditation on the eyes; the recurring Louis Vuitton pattern in Rudy Hetzer’s pieces.

The opening area is the most spacious, housing the largest pieces of the collection. Just ahead of the entrance, a lofty mushroom made entirely from CDs shines under the gallery lighting, exuding a holographic glimmer of aluminum and plastic. Further back against the wall next to the staircase, a vibrant structure looms, beginning from the ground and reaching to the second floor. “This piece here is Crystal Wagner’s. It’s made entirely of picnic tablecloths,” Bivins says, running a finger along a section of bright blue and green plastic. The piece looks botanical; the hollows reminiscent of petals, the twisting body like an ivy vine snaking up a brick wall.

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Look up. Look down. Look around. #PsychedelicRobot 2.0

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Across the room, a black-lit sanctuary beckons the eye with fluorescent lights and an explosion of color. A visual stunner, this installation makes use of the entire room as splatters of neon coat every visible surface. Large images of birds native to Dallas decorate the walls, and a birdcage big enough for a person takes centerstage. The Not.Travis logo I mentioned before manifests through neon light structures. Resting in the cage, the hearts remind me of two birds on a wire.

The second floor hosts a DJ booth and more artistic eye-candy, including the gallery’s 1969: Get Back to Where You Once Belonged exhibit–a taste of the ‘60s with a twist.

It may go without saying, but the few pieces mentioned here do not scratch the surface of Psychedelic Robot. Color, movement, and light fill practically every space. Even the white walls and high ceilings become make-shift canvases for artistic video and ethereal light shows. Each piece demands attention (sensory overload, indeed). It’s a bummer the tickets only offer an hour of viewing time, though the installations transition from one to another in a way that is both seamless and efficient. Seeing what you want to see shouldn’t be an issue, even during a Friday- or Saturday-night buzz.

Admission is steep at $35 for adults and $25 for children and seniors, but captivating enough to be worth a visit. Grab a drink and a friend, and enjoy an hour in a graffiti-fusion wonderland where you, quite literally, become the art.

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