Flipping the switch up into the "ON" position, I then stood back a couple of paces and looked upon the art on the wall with renewed appreciation. The colors were now vibrant- almost dazzling. The range of contrast, from the deepest shadows to the bright white clouds was amazing. Subtle nuances as well as the strong statements of the underlying composition were now fully evident and no longer in question. Yes, the light switch is certainly an important component of the proper presentation of a work of art.
Several years ago, I had been invited to show in a unique venue that I had not been to before. The clientele that came to the show was fairly knowledgeable about art, and I was looking forward to not only showing my work there, but probably making some important sales as well. The hall in which I was displaying seemed reasonably well lit, the other artists' booths looked pretty good, and my own presentation of my work was inviting. People seemed to genuinely like my work, but in the end, I made absolutely no sales.
In talking with a friend later (he is a photographer and his wife is a painter) I mentioned that I thought I could probably have made some good sales if only my presentation had been stronger- perhaps with some good lighting. He made me promise then and there that I would put together a good lighting setup before my next show. Of course I found myself scrambling the last three days before that show arrived, to put into effect my new lighting system– I wasn't about to be confronted by my friend when he showed up at the show and asked: "So where's your new lighting system you promised to build?"
When I finally got the system designed, engineered, components purchased, and installed, I lit the lights in my booth (temporarily set up in my front yard) and then began to hang photographs. From the very first piece of art hung, I was asking myself: "Why, in the world, didn't I do this earlier?" Clearly, the art would now be able to speak for itself, and probably sell itself.
|Photograph on wall, properly lit with good broadband spot-lighting|
|Photograph on wall, illuminated with only existing room lighting|
There are many fine (and relatively inexpensive) options available for lighting artwork which I will explore in a follow-on post.
Don't let your art languish– let it be luminous!
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