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|Painting with Light. Posted on 04/19/2002.
The L.A. Times offers a lengthy feature on an old family friend, Eugene Epstein, and his passion for collecting the work of all-but-forgotten abstract moving light artist Thomas Wilfred. I've seen Eugene's collection a number of times over the course of my life, and the pictures in the story, while helpful, don't do the art justice--they're truly kinetic pieces.
I most appreciate the article for this passage:
Even if Wilfred's works, which he dubbed "Lumia," were not so beautiful, so strangely ethereal in their rotation of colors and shapes, Epstein's enthusiasm would be hard to resist. As he shows a visitor each piece, using a rudimentary Radio Shack remote control to operate the machinery, he stops regularly to express his awe at what is unfolding in light projections on ground-glass screens.
It's amazing that even now, some 40 years after having seen his first lumia, Eugene can hardly contain himself as he views them. Eugene shares a trait I've seen among pretty much all professional astronomers -- a kind of arrested development that allows them to view pretty much everything with child-like wonder. It makes me wonder if it's a necessary quality for the work.
It's delightful to see Eugene's passion continue to burn strongly, and for his efforts to recognize an art he so much admires are now getting recognized themselves.
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