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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Twenty Six : Using reflections to transform reality > Gilded reflection, Toronto, Canada, 2009
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Gilded reflection, Toronto, Canada, 2009
22-SEP-2009

Gilded reflection, Toronto, Canada, 2009

The Royal Bank of Canada’s headquarters building in Toronto has more than 1,400 windows, all of them coated with a layer of 24-carat gold. The gilding, intended as an insulating material, added $70 to the cost of each window, an expense of more than a million dollars. The golden windows reflect adjoining banking institutions that make Toronto the financial center of Canada. This image offers just such a gilded reflection -- albeit somewhat bent out of shape -- an appropriate symbol for those who make (or lose) money with money in these troubled times.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1
1/80s f/5.6 at 84.0mm iso400 full exif

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Phil Douglis23-Feb-2014 19:58
Glad you like this image, Dick -- it began as a study in reflection, and ended as a symbolic rendering of distorted values.
Light_Works22-Feb-2014 21:25
Nice image! Well done! V.
Phil Douglis21-Nov-2009 01:04
I agree -- the great mosques of Istanbul, for example, were built as lavish monuments to the sultans who paid for them, often at the expense of the very people who worshipped in them. Today, these same buildings have become shrines that enrich both the soul and the pockets of Turkey's touristic businesses.
Tim May20-Nov-2009 23:34
I agree with this sense of irritation of the expense wasted for "decoration" and the symbol here of decadence - but I also find myself thinking of the places we have visited and the historic beauty we have seen and how the things that endure as architectural masterpieces must have been extravagances in their time.
Phil Douglis27-Oct-2009 21:06
I agree, Iris -- we live in a time of greed, corruption, and selfishness, all of them characteristics displayed in recent years by individuals working for once respected financial institutions. These windows of gold, filled with distorted reflections, certainly can be read as symbols of a financial system that has been bent out of shape.
Iris Maybloom (irislm)27-Oct-2009 21:00
What better way to illustrate our distorted values! What better industry than banking! A timely image, indeed.
Phil Douglis27-Oct-2009 20:21
You are right, Rose -- the gilded windows here insulate not only from the cold, but they offer symbolic insulation from financial threats as well.
sunlightpix17-Oct-2009 19:44
Gold as an insulator - against the cold, both physical and symbolic...
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