art, 照明, effects, science

Twilight Gazing

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It happened that I have received a call this late afternoon, and unconsciously — as we all do — went out on the balcony carrying a cup of tea in one hand, my phone pressed to my ear by a shoulder. Suddenly I focused not on the conversation but on a colours of setting sun. I had to excuse myself and pretended something urgent had happened and promised to call back. I live in this building for several years now, and I have just realised that none of the sunsets I have been witnessing repeated themselves.

The Sun, in the meanwhile, was heading West and glass glazing was bidding a farewell to it with hues of orange, pink, lilac and blue, and aquamarine. Is there enough words in any vocabulary to label at least a million hues? Of course, not.

When original awe has gone, and I was able to function like a normal human being, I had returned the call, and inside the living room to my book. I have flipped the page to find an essay of Georgia Frances King, a Melbourne (Australia) borne, Brooklyn based editor for Kinfolk magazine. Her essay was on light. I dug a bit deeper in her writing, and found a piece “The Meaning of Light.” That inquisitive and so softly written feature led me to a discovery of Stephen Auger. Stephen is and artist and color theorist from Santa Fe, New Mexico. He holds as well degree in the Neurophysiology of Color Perception.

I won’t even dare to describe the artist’s technique, instead I will let critics do this. Here is what Diane Armitage says: “Auger’s paintings are shimmering veils of paint combined with impossibly tiny crystal spheres that range from 40 to 100 microns in diameter. The result is that each painting must be read not only in terms of its color and radiant light, by also by its surface topography. Working with the crystals embedded in oil-based pigments, Auger manipulates his canvases in such a way that the paint’s viscous properties allow for flowing, pooling, and a complex layering of materials that mimic sedimentation. And so his work is as much about topography and the forces of erosion as it is about the fugitive quality of light. No two angles of viewing a painting by Auger will produce the same chromatic effects, the same reflectivity.”

In his work, The Twilight Array, the artist collaborates with experts in neuroscience and special illumination to use square paintings made of particles emitting, reflecting and radiating a very special wavelength of light perceivable only at very low light levels. Scientists call this a mesopic vision. Artist’s idea is that a viewer shall experience the sensation of a twilight not as a fleeting but continuous sensation.

Have you ever bought yourself wishing that feeling never ended?

Source of a photo: artist’s website.

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art, effects, lighting

Artists of Light: Kuindzhi

Light fascinates. We reach for a phone, camera, canvas. Whatever the means, it results in awes. Photogenic light is an artist’s aide. The model that grows no older, knows no gender.

Arkhip Kuindzhi. Ukrainian Night. 1876. Oil on canvas. 79 x 162. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Arkhip Kuindzhi. Ukrainian Night.
1876. Oil on canvas. 79 x 162. The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia.

Arkhip Kuindzhi, 1842 – 1910, Russian painter, a member of Peredvizhniki movement. Was light a chemistry for him? Perhaps: rumour has it, he had some dealings with Mendeleev.

Arkhip Kuindzhi. Kind of the Isaac Cathedral at Moonlight Night. 1869. Oil on canvas. Smolensk State Museum-reserve, Smolensk, Russia.

Arkhip Kuindzhi.
Kind of the Isaac Cathedral at Moonlight Night.
1869. Oil on canvas. Smolensk State Museum-reserve, Smolensk, Russia.

Look at the water of the Neva river. Today it is so easy: a lens turns reflection into a binary code into instagram post, but recreate such a game from memory during laborious days of rubbing a point of a brush against the canvas?

Arkhip Kuindzhi. Moonlight Night on Dneper. 1880. Oil on paper. 105 x 144. The State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Arkhip Kuindzhi. Moonlight Night on Dneper.
1880. Oil on paper. 105 x 144.
The State Russian Museum,
St. Petersburg, Russia.

Moonlight Night on Dneper makes me shiver. I swear. Lost for words… see you next post.

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