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Blue Man Group Founder Launches New Experiential Endeavor At Area 15

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LAURENT VELAZQUEZ/Area 15

Blue Man Group has entertained millions with its drums, splattering neon paints and comedic interludes of the blue men themselves.

Now one of that show's founders is introducing a new experience to Las Vegas. Chris Wink will bring “Wink World: Portals to the Infinite” to Area 15, which opens Thursday. 

Unlike Blue Man Group, Wink World will be a walk-through experience with six infinity mirror rooms, each with its own soundtrack and vibe. 

“It’s been a passion of mine in recent years to kind of explore infinity mirror rooms. I saw Yayoi Kusama’s work and was inspired,” Wink said.

He said when he and his partners created Blue Man Group the idea was to get it to be as big as it needed to be but now he's looking to go smaller.

"When I say small, it is actually paradoxical because the mirrors are smaller rooms, but they're kind of portals into the infinite,” he said.

Nowadays, it seems that art exhibits and installations must have a component that makes them worth sharing on Instagram or other social media channels.

Wink said making something sharable wasn't the point of the installation. Instead, he wanted visitors to have an experience with more "gravitas" and more inspiration. 

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“But there is nothing wrong with, ‘Here’s where I am. I went here. This is part of my story,” he said of social media.

Wink is also looking to push more interaction. Blue Man Group does break the fourth wall during their performances, but Wink said there is still elements of performers on the stage and audience in the seats.

Wink World explodes that idea, he said.

Blue Man Group don't speak but as anyone who has seen the show knows the performers are still able to tell a story. Wink said it takes a lot of work to keep an audience engaged without a narrative, but he's using that skill in his new endeavor.

“I really feel like I’ve taken my 10,000 or 20,000 hours of schooling and tried to apply it the best I can to create an experience that as an artistic quality to it but isn’t pretentious. It’s more artful,” he said.

It combines technology, sound, visuals, machines and motors, Wink said. The new exhibit is one that audience members will have to meet halfway.

“They can kind of fill in the blanks with their own narrative and engage and explore in it,” he said.

Besides Wink World, Wink is also the director of content for all of Area 15. He said besides Meow Wolf, which is an art installation that is getting the most attention, there will be several other exhibits and experiences for people to explore.

The other attractions include a video game and pool hall, an immersive bourbon distiller experience, ax throwing, augmented and virtual reality, plus paintings, sculpture and other visual art throughout the space.

“It’s like a playground for adults. Kids are welcome, but this is for us. There’s just going to be sights and sounds everywhere,” Wink said.

He said he likes to describe Area 15 as a hipster neighborhood inside a box.

“That’s what I’m really happy about is that I’m in a space that has so many things. So many reasons to come and visit. That I really just feel privileged to be in that location,” he said.

While shows on the Strip remained closed with no clear idea on when they will reopen, Wink said Area 15 actually benefits from social distancing rules because it is better to experience it with fewer people.

Guests

Chris Wink, founder, Blue Man Group and Area 15's Wink World: Portals to the Infinite

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