While walking through the art gallery, something bright and colorful catches my eye. Stopping suddenly, I give the artwork my full attention. I say hello to the old man who also admiring the painting, he gives me a nod and a slight smile that says hello back. This painting is like nothing I’ve seen before. Solar Eclipse by Mike Raidt is part of a collection that he used flashing lights suspended from the ceiling. They are constantly changing colors, enveloping the whole room in an eccentric rainbow. The lights bring out various details and shades of colors in the art piece, which I find to be both interesting and unique. It creates a new perspective with every change in lights, telling a new tale, and creating a different mood.
A sun, large like a pumpkin, covers up the majority of the canvas with colorful rays reaching in every direction. The rays flow smoothly, expanding my focus.
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The lights change every few seconds, engulfing the entire room with different warm and cool-toned colors. Rays of the sun dance when the lights kiss the painting with shades of red and yellow. I see part of the sun’s face accompanied by a sliver of the moon’s in the center, together creating one. The changing colors channel different emotions in the painting. My favorite, the red lights, brought out the fiery, deep colors. However, when red’s enemy blue strikes the piece, the whole mood shifts. A feeling of melancholy shadows the entire painting when touched by blue.
On the outermost parts of the painting, dark purple jail-like bars prison the sun. They are strictly horizontal and vertical. Among the four corners are darkened squares of the same pattern, but a tighter print.
The old man next to me coughed, breaking my strong focus. As I turned to face him, I noticed he was wearing glasses. Contrary to my own new, rather short, collection of lenses, this man’s lenses were numerous and worn with age. The lenses extended from his face in a single file line, each lens a product of a life experience. I politely asked if I could put them on. He nodded solemnly and removed the dusty glasses and shakily handed them to me. Surprised by how heavy they were, I hoisted them to my face and saw the world through his perspective. The different colored lenses showed me his world in tones of blue, his sorrow became my sorrow. I glanced back at the painting, it is now gloomy and hopeless. A rush of deep sadness hit me when I focused on the moon. He told me about the loss of his wife and how the moon reminds him of her. She died before he came back from the war while giving birth to their only daughter. Hot tears stung my eyes.
I looked back at the man, the changing lights highlighted the wrinkles on his face, and his dark skin was even more prominent than before. I gave him a smile and returned his glasses. I put mine back upon my face. My glasses, the majority composed of happy yellow lenses, instantly brightened the room. The painting seemed full of life, and cheerful once again. The sun and the moon in the painting now reminded me of the old man and his departed wife. They came together in the painting, tied as one in life. The piano tune of Canon in D plays softly in my head, making me imagine what their wedding was like. The rays are like the memories the two have made, reaching out in all direction, affects others. The different colored lights illuminate specific rays as if they are trying to tell me a story.
When the dancing lights changed from color to color, different emotions would pass me by. Each one was as distinct as the light change that accompanied it, but together they made the piece whole. This painting opened my eyes, just as the glasses had. They both showed me different perspectives. They introduced the way colors can change my emotions. Through the lenses of my yellow-tinted glasses, mixed perspectives flashed in front of me.