The mall hardly seems like the place to view incredible creative installations, but artist Eric Rieger, aka HOTTEA, proves us wrong with his stunning work of yarn art at the Mall of America (MOA). Called Hot Lunch, the impressive piece is composed of 13,000 individual strands of yarn in an array of 103 colors. Together, they hang 60 feet in length from the ceiling of North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complex. Arranged in a circular formation around a 55 by a 45-foot skylight, the window helps illuminate the rainbow hues. Upon approaching, viewers are immersed in a shimmering sheet of vibrant light.
Hot Lunch was a massive undertaking in both its planning and execution. It took Rieger and his team eight weeks to design the installation and figure out its logistics. Then, it required another 10 full days to install at the MOA. This particular piece showcases the artist’s progression with his use of the textile material. Previously, he has woven typography and patterns into chain-link fences with yarn throughout the world and collaborated with the likes of New York Fashion Week and Sesame Street. The scale of Hot Lunch is larger than anything he has ever done before.
Although Hot Lunch demonstrates a new range to Rieger’s work, its intentions fit his conceptual framework. “The foundation behind my work is to use existing infrastructure and create an artwork or idea that is in harmony within the given space,” he said. “I want to give as many people as possible an opportunity to experience spaces in new ways. I want to evoke feelings of happiness and awe. Working with Mall of America on this piece gives me an opportunity to do just that.”
Hot Lunch is on display at the MOA through October.