After working on Omega for three years, I got pretty familiar with seeing the painting in my skylit Brooklyn studio. So when the time to ship the painting out for it’s first showing came, I felt a little anxiety about how it would read in a different space, with different lighting, and to different eyes.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve felt this way. One of the things that helps me quiet this feeling of uncertainty is good documentation. Usually this means taking the best photos I can afford of the artwork. But photographing Omega was challenging, both because of it’s size, and because of how much some very subtle changes in near black tones contribute to the drawing and meaning of the image. On top of that, every documentation photograph is a compromise on the way a painting is experienced in real life. Especially when seen under living, breathing natural light.
As an experiment, I decided to try video to document this painting.
Of my several attempts, this time lapse recording of the painting hanging in the studio on a October day comes closest to communicating how I felt about seeing the painting there. The flickering light in the video comes from fall clouds passing overhead. Seeing the video is obviously still not the same as visiting the painting in real life. But for me it is a nice reminder of what having the painting in the studio was like.