Exposition Art Blog: Len Lye - Experimental Photography

Len Lye - Experimental Photography

Leonard Charles Huia Lye ( 5 July 1901 – 15 May 1980), was a Christchurch, New Zealand-born artist known primarily for his experimental films and kinetic sculpture.
"Len Lye is an artist from New Zealand who is known for his experimental films, photograms and kinetic sculpture.
In the beginning he worked with the idea of motion being an artistic language and was heavily influenced by the arts of South Pacific and African countries when he visited there.  He began to make experimental films without a camera by using manipulated and often destroyed film.
He used methods such as scratching the emulsion, dyes, stencil-work, air-brushes, pens, stamps, combs, surgical instruments, etc. to manipulate and texturize the film and celluloid. His film stills put together created a blur and motion of flashing lines and marks. Some of his famous films include: A Colour Box, Colour Flight, and Free Radicals.
Later in his work, he experimented with photograms in his films, and then began making separate photogram work. He started a series of photographic portraits using photograms including some well-known artists such as Georgia O'Keefe, Joan Miro and Le Corbusier. Exposing the light-senstive paper with the "sitter", as he calls them, in front of it, a lovely silhouette is left. With not much information or detail about the sitter in the silhouette, he added other elements to provide clues as to who the sitter is which often created new layers of meaning.Lye often was more concerned with the motion of an object or person than it's actual appearance. He was intrigued by the "notion of individuality" and "the physical factors" that inform each person's makeup.  Many consider his work to be meditations on identity and some say that he bases his abstract art on intuition and feeling, revealing parts of the subconscious."(unccphotography.blogspot.com)

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