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The world-renowned artist continues to transcend the stage space through her innovative kinetic sculptures and performative environments that merge art, music, light, and technology.

© Daniel Devlin

She has a vertiginous resume. Over the past twenty-five years, Es Devlin has established herself as one of the most influential stage and performance designers, excelling in the art of creating journeys that inventively break the fourth wall, whether in theater, dance, opera, and even beyond, in music, art, and fashion. She is known for her collaborations with pop stars such as Beyoncé, The Weeknd, Kanye West, Adele, U2, and Lady Gaga. Her projects include spectacular spatial designs for tours and concerts: plays like Hamlet with Benedict Cumberbatch and The Lehman Trilogy by Sam Mendes; closing ceremonies like the London Olympics; fashion shows for Louis Vuitton and Dior. And the list goes on. At 51, Esmeralda, aka Es Devlin, is a multi-award-winning visionary who experiments with new technologies as an outstanding storyteller and kinetic light sculptures.

© Daniel Devlin

At the top of her game

In her most recent projects, she created Come Home Again, a light sculpture commissioned by Cartier and installed outside the Tate Modern, featuring 243 endangered species in London. For Yves Saint Laurent’s spring-summer 2023 men’s fashion show, she created a shiny metal ring, a sort of ethereal halo, surrounding the show in the Moroccan desert. In February 2022, she was in charge of the Super Bowl halftime show in Los Angeles, featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige.

© Daniel Devlin

In 2021, the Forest of Us installation invited visitors to enter a maze of mirrors for Superblue in Miami. With Blue Sky White, she created a sculptural expression, in two parts, of our emotional response to the possible extinction of the blue sky. As for Memory Palace, in 2019, this bravura piece explored our relationship to memory, a “subjective and personal” mapping of 73 crucial moments in human history. Es Devlin continues to revolutionize the conventions of stage design, reaffirming with each project that the set is not just a set, nor the stage a mere prop, but the power of the imagination that she concretizes and transcends with a masterful hand.

© Daniel Devlin

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