Arts & Culture News

The Bivins Gallery's Psychedelic Robot is Bringing Highbrow Art to the Masses

While Psychedelic Robot is still under construction, its grand opening on Sept. 20 will be a sight to behold.
While Psychedelic Robot is still under construction, its grand opening on Sept. 20 will be a sight to behold. Nicholas Bostick
Michael and Karen Bivins discovered an entirely new Dallas when they moved back to town five years ago. After spending much of the previous three decades buying, selling and curating art across the globe, the couple saw a thriving art scene that’s ready to compete with the world.

“When we came back and saw what was going on, you know we visited a few times, but when we saw what was happening in Dallas, we said, ‘Whoa. It’s extraordinary,’” Michael says. “We actually think it’s one of the best places in the country to be doing what we’re doing.”

They wasted no time getting back to it, opening the Bivins Gallery last February as the staging ground for their mission to democratize art in Dallas. And on Sept. 20, they’ll take their next step. Psychedelic Robot is a 10-day pop-up immersive art show at Crescent Court, offering internationally acclaimed artists and a low barrier of entry.

“There’s no pretentious B.S. here, either. This is what we feel the art world is all about,” Michael says. “Look, there’s art for people who have a lot of money and we supply that too. But we want to grow people; we want to grow collectors and their market. That’s kind of what Psychedelic Robot is all about.”

“It all comes down to just being in the moment and having fun. And if you’re comfortable and you have the supplies, you’re able to just react.” – Travis McCann

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Each of the artists involved has been given a portion of the 12,000-square-foot space to completely transform. Each vignette flows into the next, with most having a heavy emphasis on creating Instagram-able tableaux for guests to pose and interact with. Local artist Travis McCann, aka not.travis, will recreate his Dragon Street studio space as a way of allowing people to peek behind the curtain — showing his process as he creates original works in real time.

“You’ll be able to piece together the process,” McCann says. “It all comes down to just being in the moment and having fun. And if you’re comfortable, and you have the supplies, you’re able to just react.”

At the end of the event, the piece he creates will be raffled off to the guest who takes the best Instagram shot of the work in progress.

McCann, as well as Jojo Anavim, Color Condition and Bradley Theodore, are among some of the artists whose work will be showcased. The artists will also be present and interacting with guests as they experience the event. Additionally, Michael says they are looking to have students from The Episcopal School of Dallas come in to create their own display at the event.

Psychedelic Robot creates a space that transcends the traditional gallery feel, showcasing high-level art while catering to the widest demographic. Guests can pay $35 to wind their way through the space over the course of an hour or $200 will get you in all day, with a portion of the proceeds going to Klyde Warren Park. Those two C-notes will also grant you access to the VIP lounge, where original art work will be on display, as will the music of DJ Souljah, whose company will handle the social media and production elements.

What Psychedelic Robot looks to bring is an accessible art show that doesn’t pull punches. Original pieces will go for as high as $75,000. Limited-edition prints, available for all guests to purchase, start at $350. But the price tags aren’t the point. This show is meant to be an experience. 
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Nicholas Bostick is a national award-winning writer and former student journalist. He's written for the Dallas Observer since 2014, when he started as an intern, and has been published on Pegasus News, dallasnews.com and Relieved, among other publications. Nick enjoys writing about everything from concerts to cobblers and learns a little more with every article.
Contact: Nicholas Bostick