Hudson Yards Opens With ‘Snark Park,’ a Gray-Colored Fun House by Snarkitecture

The ticket to the mall-based Instagram Trap is not cheap!

Snarkitecture partners Alex Mustonen Daniel Arsham and Ben Porto. Photo by Noah Kalina; Courtesy of Snark Park.

The massive real estate development, office park, and upscale shopping mall that is Hudson Yards is finally opening its doors to the public, and, in true 2019 form, the attractions include a made-for-Instagram exhibition space, from design studio Snarkitecture. The permanent space, which looks to blend art, architecture, and retail, will host three exhibitions a year.

The inaugural one is called “Lost and Found,” a forest of white columns that extend throughout almost the entire space. Users can wander among the pillars, looking for the ideal angle for a photo op in natural lighting conditions that change throughout the day.

“I think of it as something meditative,” Snarkitecture partner Alex Mustonen told artnet News.

Snark Park, as the venue nested within the second floor of the Hudson Yards mall has been dubbed, comes with a pedigree: Snarkitecture, led by Mustonen with partners Daniel Arsham and Ben Porto, has been at the forefront of the pop-up “experience” trend, creating a 10,000 square-foot ball pit at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC, back in 2015. The show was called “The BEACH,” and its massive sea of white balls set the standard for future Instagram museums, which universally latched onto the ball pit idea.

Installation view of Snark Park. Photo by Noah Kalina; Courtesy of Snark Park.

Installation view of Snark Park. Photo by Noah Kalina; Courtesy of Snark Park.

There is no such showstopper at Snark Park, however. Several of the columns have secret compartments, opening to interiors lined with faux fur or mosaicked mirror tiles. Some feature beaded curtains.

“Some of them are soft, some of them are hard. They invite different types of interaction,” said Mustonen, citing the materials’ “intentional strangeness.”

All the surfaces are white—the idea is that the visitors will provide a pop of color to break up the monochromatic display in photographs—and a custom soundtrack of ambient music loops every 16 minutes.

Installation view of Snark Park. Photo by Noah Kalina; Courtesy of Snark Park.

Installation view of Snark Park. Photo by Noah Kalina; Courtesy of Snark Park.

Is it enough of a draw? Most Instagram pop-ups boast multiple experiences, and a variety of different photo ops. There just isn’t that much to see at Snark Park. Besides the field of columns, there’s a display featuring a giant sized fair-ground “claw game” filled with Snarkitecture-branded stuffed animals—available for purchase, naturally—and an ice cream stand out front selling custom ice cream desserts from KITH Treats.

The $28 admission fee for Snark Park is more than any of New York’s major art museums, including the Met and the MoMA. And where Instagram trap experience like the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory give out sweet treats at various points during each visit, Snark Park’s desserts cost an extra $7.25–10.

“We spent a lot of time thinking of what our price point would be,” Mustonen admitted. “We feel confident that there is going to be an audience.”

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