James Turrell is an American artist who works primarily with light and space as his subject. Turrell creates spaces for people to walk through and experience the distortion of human perception. Turrell refers back to Plato's Cave allegory often, stating that humans create the reality they live in with their own perception. If humans only perceive a shadow of a chair for their entire lives, they will believe that the shadow of a chair is an actual chair. Turrell keeps this concept in mind while creating his perceptual spaces. I chose James Turrell for my artist presentation because I, too, am very intrigued by how light and space can influence the emotions of people. I think Turrell does an impeccable job creating his spaces and provoking specific emotions in his audience. In certain pieces of his, I can tell what mood he wants his audience to feel simply by looking at pictures of the them.
This piece by Turrell is titled "Breathing Light" (finished in 2013). Turrell refers to this type of work as a "Ganzfeld", which is a German word meant to describe the total loss of depth perception in a person. While it is difficult to critique this piece without experiencing it firsthand, by viewing the picture in full screen it is evident that my own depth perception is altered. The use of color in this piece is brilliant. While looking at it, it feels as if you are being engulfed by a cloud of cool love, that is, the kind of love that is not too overbearing or exhausting, but rather relaxing and welcoming. Simultaneously, it feels slightly lonesome and isolating, the same features that often come with being in a relationship that practices "cool love". "Breathing Light" is a perfect example of how one encounter with a space can immediately make people experience emotions that occur throughout their lives.