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Big blue marble! Avant Yarde adds a glowing orb to Dean Street

for The Brooklyn Paper

So much for the Green Lantern.

Visitors to Dean Street are scratching their heads and squinting their eyes at a neon blue coil that’s been lighting up the night between Bond and Nevins streets.

What is it? A human-sized bug zapper? A portal through space-time that’ll whisk you into another dimension? An oversized lamp?

Naturally, it’s art.

It’s called “The Blue Planet,” and it’s the latest installation at Dean Street’s art collective, Avant Yarde. Visitors are flocking like, well, moths to the giant, glowing, blue orb.

“As soon as it goes on, all evening people stop and take pictures,” neighbor Rena Berk said. “It’s terrific.”

Looking something like a luminescent homage to the AT&T logo, “The Blue Planet” is the most recent addition to artist Walter Rossi’s collection of neon installation art, including one piece in which a neon tube pulsating with orange light stretched from the bottom to the top of his Crown Heights house.

Nobody seems to mind their block getting its Times Square moment, however, if only temporarily.

“It doesn’t seem like much during the day, but at night, it’s spectacular,” said resident Martin Sticht, who enjoys a front-row view of the light show from his house across the street.

Neighbor Noam Berk, who lives two doors down, said that he always looks forward to the newest curio from the artists at “Avant Yarde.”

Still, he said, “I’m not sure if I’d want to live in the garden apartment [next door] — it’d be like living in a bar.”

The five artists who live in the house have been using the building as a kind of open gallery since 2007, when they displayed their first piece of public art: a shambled, 22-foot wooden boat.

“It cuts out the middle-man,” said resident and thespian Nick Fracaro, disparaging the “marketplace” of the commercial gallery and likening museums to mausoleums. “It’s more of a conversation between the artists.”

Fellow artist Gabriele Schafer added that “The Blue Planet” has drawn a surge of rubber-necking foot-traffic, with parents often taking the piece as an opportunity for a little educative lecturing.

“That’s art,” one father was overheard telling his son.

The child’s response? “What’s it for?” (Ah, some things just can’t be answered.)

Schafer and Fracaro couldn’t comment on Rossi’s artistic statement — Brooklyn’s own Nikola Tesla is currently touring around Europe.

But Fracaro said that “The Blue Planet” fits well into Avant Yard’s recent trend toward environmentalist art.

“Neon is usually used as a commercial advertisement,” Fracaro said, “but here it’s an advertisement for the planet and for us to think about what we’re doing here.”

Better still, the exhibition will run for a long time.

“Neon’s cheap,” Fracaro said.

“The Blue Planet” at Avant Yard (214 Dean St. between Bond and Nevins street in Boerum Hill), nightly between 5 pm and midnight.

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