A few years ago when I was working as a mid-level designer for FIJI Water, I was lucky to attend a private corporate event at LACMA (Los Angeles Contemporary Museum of Art) to see James Turrell's ‘Breathing Light.’ The reason I was lucky was that I got to see the masterpiece before it was opened to the public. So what's so special about it anyway? Well, it altered your perception of depth and reality. The pictures can't and will never do it any justice. You just have to experience it yourself. It was like living in a gradient...every designer's dream...ok well maybe just my design dream 😉
Last weekend when I was invited to gallery-hop with my friend Diane, founder of Gurl Museum Day, I was excited to find out that one of the galleries we were going to visit would feature Turell's work. But what's so special about his works? They look like a blob of light inside of a shape, right? Wrong. All you have to do is stand or sit for 30 seconds to notice that the colors change very subtly from red to pink to green to blue etc. There is something very mesmerizing about it...it's like watching a sunset.
Who is James Turrell?
James Turrell is a world-renowned artist. His subject is perception. His medium is light. And his canvas is the sky. The artist’s lifelong research in the field of human visual and psychological perception allowed him to become one of the most prominent artists best known for his work with light and space.
Where you think you've seen a James Turrell
Perhaps one of the most iconic pop-culture references of where you think you've seen a James Turrell piece is in Drake's Hotline Bling music video. Drake says he "fucks with Turell." Or in other words, he likes to appropriate his art into his music video Hotline Bling?
But Turrell had no involvement in Drake's music video, and when asked about it he said, “While I am truly flattered to learn that Drake fucks with me, I nevertheless wish to make clear that neither I nor any of my woes was involved in any way in the making of the Hotline Bling video.”