Fig. 1:

Fig. 1: Syl Arena, Color Ribbon 9775, Digital C print, 24″ x 36″, 2016.

I am very proud to announce that my Color Ribbon 9775 will be exhibited this summer in New York as part of the Aperture Foundation’s “Summer Open 2016.” CR 9775 is part of my trichroic series in which I use separate red, green, and blue light sources to illuminate common materials. For a behind-the-scenes look at my early trichroic work, check out this post from February, 2015. For peek at recent trichroic work, click on the photo below to hop to an online gallery.

Color Ribbons PIM 160406

Fig. 2 – Click through ^ to see recent works in my Trichroic series.

Charlotte Cotton served as curator for the show.  Charlotte is the Curator In Residence at the International Center for Photography in New York. The theme the Aperture show, “Photography Is Magic,” ties in with the title of Charlotte’s recent book by the same name. The exhibition includes the work of 50 photographers. It opens on July 14 and runs to August 11, 2016 at Aperture’s gallery in Chelsea. For details, click here.

My Artist Statement for the Aperture Summer Open

Visual ambiguity creates the magic in my ‘Color Ribbon’ series. These images play with the viewer’s perception of spatial organization. Questions of what is truly in front and what is behind reveal themselves slowly in these images.

In photographs, we interpret depth largely through clues provided by perspective and shadow. My slight-of-hand in this series is that I use three separate light sources in pure red, green, and blue. The merger of these three primary colors creates the secondary colors (yellow, cyan, and magenta). The separation of the sources and the resulting mergers of colored light cast multiple shadows that are often visually disconnected from the illuminated surface.

To create just a bit more visual magic, I use small, irregularly shaped mirrors to reflect light back onto the cut paper. For instance, redirecting red light coming from behind onto a green surface facing the lens creates a patch of yellow that distracts the viewer, thereby enhancing the illusion of the photograph’s spatial organization.

Of course there are small tells in each image—small clues that reward the viewer’s attention to detail. Bumps along the cut edges of the paper, in places, reveal that I have indeed photographed a sheet of paper that I cut into strips and rearranged as a jumbled bow. There are also spots where the paper’s texture becomes apparent through a highlight. Rather than hide these tells through digital manipulation, I leave them in plain sight to honor the sense of magic that is photography.



One Response to ‘Color Ribbon 9775’ To Be Shown In NYC At The Aperture Foundation Summer Open 2016

  1. Heather says:

    Love these photos.

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