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

    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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora