Vibrant sculptures merge color and light
How better to brighten the dark, December skies of New York than to add vibrant sculptures merging color and light?
In December 2003 Socrates Sculpture Park unveiled Winter Light — a new annual series of light-based installations. Among the three illuminated artworks displayed from December through February is Star, created by New York-based artist Leo Villareal. Illuminated by Color Kinetics' LED technology, Star casts a dazzling show of light that can be seen far from the Park's perimeter — across the East River in Manhattan.
Villareal mounted 24 pieces of iColor Accent 8' on a metal frame, forming an 18'-diameter star whose spokes generate color-changing light in a sequence of intricately programmed effects. Colors radiate out from the sculpture's center and form animated patterns that appear to morph from swirling flowers to exploding fireworks. According to Villareal, the work is designed to play with both spatial and temporal resolution as different parts of the display are activated and sequences build over time. He used a computer program to design the light sequences, which demonstrate the aesthetic flexibility and highly controllable nature of LED sources. Each 8' length of iColor Accent is controllable in 1' increments, which allows for seamless runs of color and precise visual effects. The lights' rugged housing can withstand even the harshest winter conditions.
According to the Park's executive director, Alyson Baker, "People do not normally think of light as a sculptural element, but it really does have incredible presence, especially in the winter time when light is such a welcome sight."