In dim light, the unassuming front room of Holographic Studios in Kip’s Bay appears merely a bit dusty. But once the lights flicker on, the various holograms that founder Jason Sapan has made and collected over the years come to life.
Suddenly Andy Warhol and Phyllis Diller are standing there, ready to greet you — magic! Well, it’s the “magic” of 3-D imaging, rather, but it’s eerie and trippy fun, nonetheless. Sapan, a former assistant professor at SVA and NYU, has been operating the museum since its inception in a little building on Canal St in 1979, and he is more than happy to guide visitors through his beloved images, explain the process, and provide details on the trinkets available for purchase. I treated myself to a hologram Krugerrand ($85) to add to my coin collection, a transaction that might easily claim the title of world’s most postmodern impulse buy.
Afterward, I was given to a guided tour of the workshop and a brief tutorial on the process of creating these fascinating three-dimensional images. Sapan explained that light is shined on an object, making an impression like a mold. A photo of that mold is then taken by laser light and put onto a special plastic or film, which is then developed just like a photograph in a dark room. It then takes another light (bulb) to bring the whole thing back to life.
With Virtual and Augmented Reality technology finally hitting the mainstream and gear by the big tech companies like Microsoft (HoloLens) and Facebook (Oculus Rift) maturing, 3D and holograms are redefining the way we interact with everything around us. Here’s your chance to meet and learn from one of the creators of the industry.
Now in its fourth decade, Holographic Studios is the world’s longest operating gallery of holography. Come in to take a class, a tour, buy a hologram gift, commission a project, pose for a hologram portrait, or do an internship. When you leave you will certainly see things in a different light.
Gallery hours: Monday – Friday, 2 pm – 6 pm or by appointment.
Closed holidays and snow days.
Gunter Kleemann is the Director of Concierge Services for The Edry Team and the face of our Concierge a la Maison service. He has come to the team after an illustrious 15-year career as a concierge at several premiere luxury properties and most recently held the title of Chef Concierge at the New York Palace Hotel.