ERCO Lighting, London
18th Sept – 2nd Oct 2015
38 Dover Street
London W1S 4NL
ERCO Lumières, Paris
12th – 26th Feb 2016
6ter, rue des Saints-Pères
Palau Robert Museum, Barcelona
23 Sept – 9 Oct 2016
Venue – Palau Robert
Passeig de Gràcia 107
The penetrating stare of the portraits that fixate visitors to the dark interior of the exhibition could be unsettling in their intensity, yet it is only upon much closer observation of this over-sized works that it becomes clear that each artwork is not a photograph but rather an oil painting. The almost sculptural effect of the hyper-realistic practise of artist Matthew Penn is the pinnacle of complete perfection in the Chiaroscuro style, which naturally works with dramatic contrasts between light and dark, helped, with excellent effect, by the precision accentuation delivered by ERCO spotlights.
SCULPTING WITH ERCO LIGHT
The exhibition space in which the artistic project by Matthew Penn, Illuminating Characters, was a temporary black cubicle room. ERCO Pollux spotlights were used, either with 2W narrow spot distribution or as 6W contour spotlight, which were ideal for the illumination of the three extremely large paintings.
“I used the Pollux lights because they allowed me to sculpt the light on the painting with more control and a refined definition,” Matthew reported in this interview.
He used ERCO lighting tools to deliver very targeted accent lighting onto specific details, lending further depth, and beyond that, true emotion. In order to achieve this goal, ultimate precision of the photometric technology was key to avoid spill light on unwanted areas of the artwork. The light was, one could almost say, painted into place.
A further very important theme was the selection of colour temperature. The artist selected Pollux luminaires in warm white, with 3000K, in order to emphasise faces, skin, hair and even wrinkles. Artistic lighting within the paintings was highlighted in neutral white, at 4000K, which created a very life-like and almost three-dimensional effect.
Matthew Penn explained, “This way of sculpting and manipulating the light on the painting enhances it to complete the piece. The combination of lighting and finished hyper-realistic painting takes the work into a mesmerising and engaging darker atmosphere where the viewer is transported and immersed within the portrait – a way of lighting not just to display the art but to enhance it and become part of the art itself.”