Scale is an essential componentof how we connect with art. Itis an equally important facet of architectural design. The balance between the scale of the art and the scale of the architecture isthe central element of how wefeel when we engage with a space. Achieving this desired balance is the essential decision made by interior designers, it defines our emotional experience with both art and space.
One of the most celebrated artists of the 20th century for large scale artwork, Mark Rothko, said this in May 1951:
“I paint very large pictures. I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them however, – I think it applies to other painters I know -, is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something you command.”
Rothko’s reflection also tells something about viewer immersion. Large scale artwork allows the viewer to engage with the piecesin a way that smaller forms simply cannot achieve. Again it relatesto our emotional experience with artwork and spaces. When each takes a certain scale it creates a feeling of awe and wonder allowing us, if only for a moment, to disappear into it. We’ve all felt that emotion when walking into a space of grandeur. Looking around in these grand places, be they homes or monuments of humankind, we feel something powerful in the experience of engaging with them. Large artwork creates exactly the same reaction.
Essentially, art should have the same presence as the space it is placed within, or a greater presence, to effect heightened engagement with the piece. If an artwork has a scale that has less presence than the space itself, it will not only diminish the emotional connection with the art but, also that of the space. Big spaces, therefore, naturally need to be accompanied by big artwork.
One emerging artist specializing in immersive large format artwork is Pete Rey, who transforms original photographs into entirely new forms through a process he terms, ‘Phototranscendence’. Through the transformation, the traditional barriers of resolutionin photographic art are removed. Photographs, which would normally pixelate at such large sizes, using Rey’s technique, allows for the art to be created up to three meters, with perfect clarity. Rey, bridges the gap between photography and contemporary art, creating an entirely unique form of artistic expression, producing pieces of mesmerizing scale and engagement, perfectly suited to large spaces.
Movement is a key componentof Rey’s work giving tremendous energy and beautiful flow throughout each of the pieces, enhancing the emotional connection with the viewer. Painted or printed forms of art can often feel static, but when the artist enables a sense of motionin their creation, it encourages the viewer to dive deeper into the experience of engagement. Much in the same way Van Gogh’s bold, dramatic brush strokes expressed a huge amount of emotion and movement in his works, Rey explores a similar sentiment in a modern contemporary presentation. Examining Rey’s artwork closely, the process he applies to his artwork does indeed create strokes much like that created by a brush.
The artworks included in this collaborative project with Who’s
Who in Luxury Real Estate and LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. Nestled into the mountainsideof Vail, Colorado is the beautiful mansion showcasing pieces from Rey’s first collection, appropriately named, “Dimensions” and also
his upcoming release “Paradiso”. “Paradiso”, is an exciting new
collection of artwork produced in collaboration with the acclaimed aerial photographer Merr Watson (www.merrwatson.com) based in Australia, which we will be visiting in a future edition.