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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Eight: Light and shadow shape meaning > Evil Eye, di Rosa Preserve, Napa Valley, California, 2007
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Evil Eye, di Rosa Preserve, Napa Valley, California, 2007
09-JUN-2007

Evil Eye, di Rosa Preserve, Napa Valley, California, 2007

The incongruity of this single baleful eye on a shattered face was, in itself, worthy of a shocking image. But the interplay of light and shadow brings so much more meaning to it. The angle of the mid-day sun creates a deep shadow that cuts the sculpture in half. The upper half of the head, holding the eye in place, seems to float menacingly in space. It looks like it can follow us anywhere. Adding to that threat is the zigzag background shadow that tears the image into jagged points of light and darkness. This sculpture is one of about 2,300 works of art in the collection of Rene di Rosa. Fortunately, it can be displayed outdoors, and benefit from the natural interplay of light and shadow upon it.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/500s f/6.3 at 21.3mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Phil Douglis13-Oct-2007 15:41
Glad to know that you are learning a lot here, Cyndy. When I shoot, I look for the light first, and then the subject. I saw the way the light here carved both the earth and the sculpture, and I built my image around the pattern that it creates.
Cyndy Largarticha13-Oct-2007 07:51
Wow, the way you chose to interpret the light and shadow really does define your impression of the sculpture. I'm learning a lot from these galleries; thank you, Phil.
Phil Douglis24-Jun-2007 18:34
Everything depends upon context. If this work of art was a monument in downtown Baghdad, the message would be obvious. But it is not. It leaves the interpretation open to the viewer. The artist no doubt intends to make the viewer uncomfortable. And my choice to photographically nterpret it within this geometric matrix of fragmenting light and shadow only heightens that discomfort.
monique jansen24-Jun-2007 09:55
I see death and destruction, I agree wholeheartedly with Cecilia, very powerful anti-war image with its destroyed face, anguished look, pain, suffering.
Phil Douglis20-Jun-2007 18:46
I knew you would see this as an anti-war sculpture. I am not sure if that was the artists intention or not, nor was it mine. I saw it as as the personification of evil. And yes, war is the ultimate evil, so this image does indeed work in that context as well.
Guest 20-Jun-2007 17:33
This is a most potent anti war image, in my opinion, with its anguished, blasted, desecrated face and its missing eye. I cannot recall a sculpture that more perfectly captures the horror, waste, cruelty and destruction of human beings attacking one another with ever-increasingly sophisticated weaponry. The wounds being inflicted in Iraq by explosives coming up out of the ground into vehicles full of US soldiers are precisely and horribly captured in this image; faces, jaws, skulls are being torn apart by these IEDs, and the severity of these injuries will be with America for decades after the conflict itself is over.
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