News / USA

Artist Uses Light to Enchant Museum-Goers in Houston

Kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez walks out of his exhibit of illusion-filled pieces of color and light on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, February 2011
Kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez walks out of his exhibit of illusion-filled pieces of color and light on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, February 2011

Multimedia

Greg Flakus

Kinetic artist Carlos Cruz-Diez was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, but has spent half of his 87 years in Paris. There he developed a worldwide following for works that challenge how we see color. His illusion-filled pieces are now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.

Entering the world of Cruz-Diez is a challenge and a delight for the eyes. In one of the small rooms built for the exhibit, one at first sees blue light but it shifts to yellow, green and other colors as one passes through.

Here's what Carlos Cruz-Diez said he intended. "This is chromo saturation. The purpose is to have color without form. One enters here into raw perception."

The colors one sees here are not really here. The artist explains that they're manufactured by the eye.

Optical illusions

"When you see just one frequency of light, it is disturbing and the eye tries to accommodate itself to the experience and in the process, different tones appear that do not exist in the place."

In another chamber, Cruz-Diez uses light and structure to turn the viewer into part of the art. A lamp projects patterns over the surface of the room and anyone inside it.

Many other works here use simple structures made of plastic and other monochromatic materials to give the impression of shifting colors.

Cruz-Diez said he wants to challenge the notion people have of color and reveal its essence.

Essence of color

"All my work is the product of a long reflection to give another notion to the world of color."

People visiting this exhibit were fascinated by how the artist uses materials to produce the illusion of changing color, and they had their own perceptions of the works.

One visitor said, "I like walking around and looking at them from different angles and seeing how they change."

Another said, "I have seen it before and I keep coming back. There is something about the colors that is also spiritual. It changes your mood."

Varied perspectives

Another man from Mexico saw the works from a Latin American perspective. "There are a lot of very alive colors like pink, orange, red, colors that connect to some pre-Hispanic tradition."

Architects and those who work in design especially like this exhibit. Like Elaine.

"As you can see, the installation is quite clever," said Elaine. "He used different material. He used angles to block your sight to create different, I would say, illusions. Sometimes architects do that, too. So this is kind of inspiring to architecture."

Cruz-Diez is known as a kinetic artist because motion is involved in his works. But most often, the viewer's motion and its interaction with the work make the difference.

Kinetic artistry

The exhibit, called "Color in Space and Time,"  includes a few of the artist's early paintings, which are traditional representations of people and landscapes.

But most of the works are explorations of color.

Art critics credit Cruz-Diez with re-inventing the notion that color is more than just pigment on a surface; it involves light, the eye and the brain.

The exhibit remains at the Fine Arts Museum in Houston until July 4, 2011.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid