Saturday, August 9, 2008

Larry Bell's Studio

I was in Taos a couple of weeks ago so I went by Larry Bell's studio at 233 Ranchitos Road. An assistant was kind enough to give me a quick tour. I was thrilled to see a large number of glass boxes under construction, and the various equipment they use to create his signature pieces. I got a peek at the large vacuum chamber, purchased from the Los Alamos National Laboratory, that Bell uses to coat the glass plates by thin film deposition.

The assistant also showed me prints and explained how Bell is creating what looked like iridescent areas in the prints — colors that reflect light like oil on water. Of course, her explanation went in one ear and out the other. God, I wish I could remember and comprehend how she explained he does it. They were like no other prints I've ever seen.

Though I don't think Bell had training in math or science he seems to effortlessly master whatever skill he needs to accomplish his goal. I have previously focused on artists who had prior training in math or science. Bell is different. I don't think he studied or practiced in a technical field prior to becoming an artist. Yet, he masters and uses science or technology in his work.

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