The power outage in India left over 600 million people in the dark. While we certainly don’t want to make “light” of the catastrophe…ahem…we couldn’t help but think of the role that darkness plays in the art world.
Traditionally, a valued piece of art is placed in a strategically lit, bright viewing area. But not always- see how these contemporary artists experiment with light in their work.
Born in 1933, renowned artist Dan Flavin was a key player in the introduction of electric light as fine art.
Flavin used commercially available fluorescent lights to create minimalist, colorful installations- one of which is currently on view at the MoMA.
Today, New York City based artist Ryan McGinness takes this idea of using light as art one step further. His most recent artwork features geometric-like female figures that, when lit up with black light, makes viewers’ jaws drop.
McGinness uses the unexpected medium of fluorescent paint to create a glowing effect. The result: a painting that transforms with the flip of a switch.
Glenn Friedel, an artist with nAscent Art New York, the publisher of The Bare Square, uses light itself as a medium in his artwork. In a completely dark room, Glenn has models lie down on photo sensitive paper and exposes them to light in new and creative ways. In this way, Glenn is ultimately “painting” with light.
Want to become enlightened today? Step inside Yayoi Kusama’s installation, Fireflies on the Water, now being shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art through September 30!
While the power has thankfully been restored in India, artists like Flavin and Friedel will continue to illuminate those willing to experience art in the dark.
- Shannon Demers