Neon and bright spray paint are the hallmarks of many of the rooms at Psychedelic Robot, a new 'immersive art' exhibit at the Crescent in Dallas.

Neon and bright spray paint are the hallmarks of many of the rooms at Psychedelic Robot, a new 'immersive art' exhibit at the Crescent in Dallas.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Editor's note on Oct. 3, 2018: This story has been updated with the news that Psychedelic Robot will remain open in Dallas through Nov. 15.

Stepping inside the Psychedelic Robot art installation in Dallas is like entering a street artist's painting. Rooms are covered with paint, neon lights or streamers, but there's something missing: You.

Psychedelic Robot is an "immersion gallery," says Michael Bivins, a style he says is "sweeping the country." As the co-owner of Bivins Gallery, Michael and his wife, Karen Bivins, decided to launch Psychedelic Robot as a way to show off accessible, touchable, Instagrammable art to Dallasites in the same way that Meow Wolf did in Santa Fe and Color Factory did in New York City.

It's one of many ways gallery owners have adapted to social media's influence on art — a topic The Dallas Morning News covered deeply in July. Dallasites got a taste when Sweet Tooth Hotel  launched earlier this year in Victory Park. (That installation has already inspired a spinoff.)

"It doesn't have to be London, L.A., Berlin," Michael Bivins says. "We can do it right here. The Big D is ready for prime time."

Word art spray-painted by Renda Writer surrounds guests at a Dallas preview party for Psychedelic Robot.

Word art spray-painted by Renda Writer surrounds guests at a Dallas preview party for Psychedelic Robot.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Psychedelic Robot is located inside the Crescent, in a massive 12,000-square-foot space that faces the interior of the high-end shopping center. It features the work of more than a dozen artists, some from the Dallas area and others from as far away as Moscow. Its second floor — which has a bar, a DJ booth and a gallery collection of for-sale pieces from artists like Atlanta-based Parish Kohanim — serves as a VIP area for parties. It's a colorful, vibrant place for art fiends.

Photographer Parish Kohanim takes a portrait surrounded by his work inside a new pop-up art installation called Psychedelic Robot in Dallas.

Photographer Parish Kohanim takes a portrait surrounded by his work inside a new pop-up art installation called Psychedelic Robot in Dallas.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

To traipse through Psychedelic Robot, tickets start at $35 per person for an hour. The rooms feel purposefully casual, the antithesis to a fine-art museum where docents might watch your every move. Here, in a world of rainbow-swirl spray paint and life-sized robots, wanderers can sit on a splatter-painted couch. Just hope the paint's already dry.

Anonymous graffiti artist Punk Me Tender has a few pieces of art inside the gallery, which offer some upper-class edge for collectors who might have $20,000 or more to drop on a splashy piece for their home. Prints of his work are also for sale, for $550 each. Kohanim's delicate, colorful photos of models are yet another identifier that this can be a spot for affluent collectors. Further proof: There's a small room dedicated to sponsor Westwood Wealth Management.

But the space never feels precious. Upstairs and downstairs, and outside the door, too, the space is decorated in colorful streamers installed by a two-woman team called the Color Condition. On one wall, a collection of shaggy poufs of fabric create a place meant for selfies and self-reflection.

The two-woman team behind The Color Condition created the bursts of color made with streamers inside Psychedelic Robot. Here, people are encouraged to take selfies, create Snapchat stories and touch the art.

The two-woman team behind The Color Condition created the bursts of color made with streamers inside Psychedelic Robot. Here, people are encouraged to take selfies, create Snapchat stories and touch the art.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Exhibits like this are about "enacting the senses," Michael Bivins says. "This is art younger people can relate to."

In a room called Wishlandia, Taezja Phelan writes and hangs her hand-written wish. The trees are already full of requests, like one person who has asked for 'a yellow lab puppy.' Aw.

In a room called Wishlandia, Taezja Phelan writes and hangs her hand-written wish. The trees are already full of requests, like one person who has asked for 'a yellow lab puppy.' Aw.

Ashley Landis/Staff Photographer

Dallas artists ThanxZoe, not.travis and Laura Moore say exhibiting their art here was a way to get their work seen, felt and touched by a new audience. 

"I can't resist doing this," Moore says, "because it can be, in my mind, a giant painting — like you're inside my painting." Hers is especially engaging, since it has colorful blocks of wood hanging from the ceiling that passers-by have to dodge to get into the next room. (See it in the photo gallery below.)

Despite the growing popularity of pop-up pop-art installations around the country, some of which have landed in Dallas, Robot artists seemed to appreciate the newness.

"I've lived in Dallas my whole life and I've never seen anything like this," ThanxZoe says.

Psychedelic Robot opens Sept. 20 at the Crescent, 500 Crescent Court, Dallas. It's slated to close on Nov. 15. Tickets start at $35. psychedelicrobot.com.

Take a virtual tour through Psychedelic Robot, starting first with the shaggy front entrance:

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