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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Seventeen: Memories in Metal and Stone: How monuments, sculpture, and tombs express ideas. > Shimmering Steel, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2003
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Shimmering Steel, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2003

Shimmering Steel, Scottsdale, Arizona, 2003

Gary Slater’s 1975 work, “Right Angle Variations” is a series of stainless steel bars displayed as an array of right angles. Slater sands and burnishes the surface of each bar, creating art within art – an endless swirl of circles and slashes. I move my camera close to the sculpture, framing only the ends of three of the bars, thereby taking them out of the context of the rest of the sculpture. I use a vantage point emphasizing the reflections on these swirls. The spot meter in my camera exposes for only the reflections themselves, honing the image down by turning the trees in the shaded background absolutely black. I compose this shot by tilting the camera to create only three diagonal lines, abstracting the rhythmic thrust of Slater’s already abstract sculpture into just three bars of shimmering steel.

Canon PowerShot G5
1/1600s f/8.0 at 25.1mm full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Phil Douglis29-Jun-2015 20:18
Thanks, Jdant202, for this comment. You are only the second to person to comment on this image, which I posted back in 2003, fully twelve years ago. Your comment is the first on this image in nine years. I made this image with a Canon G5, back in the early days of digital photography. How far we have come since then! Yet the image still manages to hold its own. Glad to note that both you and Jude noticed the energy coming off those spirals. I also notice that you link us to the website of a steel company, so you probably know this kind of material quite well.
jdant20229-Jun-2015 14:38
Who knew that steel could look so pretty? This is a great looking shot. The spirals in the steel look awesome. Thanks for sharing this.
Phil Douglis22-May-2006 17:06
Thanks, Jude, for being the first to comment on this picture. It has been posted for two and a half years and you are the first to note the effect of abstraction here. I have taken the work of another artist and added my own interpretation to it -- expressing thrust and energy, yet as you say, without any clues as to what it is or where it is or how big it is. I offer this image as a monument of my own -- a salute to the human imagination.
Jude Marion22-May-2006 07:04
This is beautiful, Phil.
The reflections on these swirls look like energy itself!
This is such a stunning abstraction because there are no visual clues to give us a sense of scale or location.
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