It used to be about celebrity DJs. Then it was handcrafted mixology. Then pop-up nightclubs. Now, when it comes to New York nightlife venues, Bradley Rothenberg's lighting installations are having a moment.
At 5-month-old Up & Down, where Rihanna had her wild Met Gala afterparty, Prince had a listening party and Nas and Swizz Beatz hosted a birthday party for Carmelo Anthony, Rothenberg's lighting installation made up of pyramids of pulsing light that change colors lives in the stairwell between the upstairs nightclub and the downstairs lounge. Over 256 million color combinations are possible, according to Rothenberg. "It all depends on the people going up and down the stairs," he explains. "It's almost a kaleidoscopic effect pulling you down, going into an Alice in Wonderland hole."
The lighting installation at Finale, a long, tunnel-like entrance made of flashing lights of changing color that react to guests as they enter, was created by Rothenberg, 29, for a similar effect. "As you walk into the hallway, the lights are almost in a big loop, and they're pulsing forward," he explains. The year-and-a-half-old club has hosted album release parties for Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande and Avril Lavigne, and Pharrell Williams held his YPlan app launch party there.