Video of Installation at Finder’s Creepers, Des Moines, Iowa.
This video shows the installation of my “Illuminations.” The illuminations are a series of prints that are “self-illuminated.” This installation of the complete series (to date) was recently exhibited at “Finder’s Creepers” gallery in Des Moines, Iowa. The Illuminations hung in the center of an 18′ x 25′ gallery room located in a windowless basement. The only sources of light were the artworks themselves. Unlike ordinary painting exhibits where the work hangs on the walls, the Illuminations hang in the center of the room and can be viewed from both sides. To shoot this video I used a steadicam to create the impression of walking around in the exhibit and viewing the works from different angles.
Above are more images from the Des Moines show.
Displaying my work in this way breaks up the typical gallery routine. The division of space and the dark environment discourage viewers from crowding in the center of the gallery to socialize while neglecting the art. In the Illuminations installation the viewers attention is dominated by the art – it cannot be ignored.
We are conditioned to look at glowing pictures. Televisions, computer monitors, billboards, and more naturally draw our attention. Presumably it is behavior that goes back as far as the human use of fire, i.e.; it has always been irresistibly fascinating to stare into the fire. The Illuminations mesmerize people to stare into an alternate, glowing world of mythic satire. People say they have never seen anything like it, but actually they see it all the time, but always in a commercial context. Fast food restaurants, airports, bus-stops, and more are aglow with “light boxes” – a staple of the sign-making trade. My “Illuminations” are an application of a commercial signage technique to a fine art purpose, however the change in context is so profound that people do not recognize it for what it is – a standard signage technique reinvented. Because of this appropriation of an advertising technique I consider the work to be “Pop”, that is to say, fine art that uses an advertising technique. Yet, it also partakes of a stained glass like quality, in so much as the Illuminations are like glowing windows, and in this way they invoke a sacred atmosphere. The ambiance is that of the hinterland between the sacred and profane, an effect that I would call “Crassicism”, i.e.; something that is at once “classical” and “popular”.
Illumination of “Chemical Imbalance” in the window of “Gallery13″ in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
The above picture shows a different deployment of an Illumination. In this case “Chemical Imbalance“, was included in a group show at Minneapolis’s “Gallery 13″. Display in the window took advantage of the Illumination’s stained glass like characteristic, and also acted as night-time signage for the gallery.
The photo above shows the Illumination from within the gallery. Afternoon sun is lighting up the print from behind. Back-lighting the Illumination in this way creates deep, saturated colors reminiscent of a black velvet painting. In these photos from Gallery13 you can clearly see the frames. The frames are custom milled and gilded with variegated metal leaf.