From Le Corbusier to Caravaggio, and from Turner to Gehry, the relationship between shape and light has been providing limitless creative inspiration for artists and architects for centuries. Light changes the perception of form, and shape alters the perception of light.
The Swiss luxury house La Prairie commissioned the renowned Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena to create a unique light sculpture inspired by the shape of light. Entitled Wave, the light installation was unveiled at Art Basel in Miami Beach as part of La Prairie’s ongoing partnership with the world’s premier art fair.
Valbuena’s creation invites guests to immerse themselves in the shape of light – a concept that perfectly articulates La Prairie’s brand values of precision, aesthetics and innovation. With this mesmerising kinetic art piece that recalls the light dancing on an ocean wave, the Spanish artist uses light to pay tribute to Miami’s iconic ocean front, putting both the sea and the landscape into a new perspective.
Wave represents La Prairie’s seventh collaboration with Art Basel in just three years. “For this edition, we wanted to do something a little out of the ordinary – extraordinary, if you will,” says the brand’s chief marketing officer, Greg Prodromides. This led to La Prairie having the commissioned art piece placed outside the Art Basel venue, where it could be experienced by the public at large.
As well as chiming with La Prairie’s philosophy of sharing art in order to elevate culture, the location also elevated the artwork itself, according to Pablo Valbuena, “Bringing the shape of light to the wide-open space of Miami Beach allows me to superpose the virtual and the real in the same element. I’m pleased to collaborate with La Prairie on this project in which the transformation of light is engendered by the fundamental element of the work itself.”
Key elements of Valbuena’s artistic exploration include the overlap of the real and the virtual, the dissolution of boundaries between reality and perception, the link between space and time, the observer’s subjective experience as the focus of the work and the use of light and sound as prime matter. These ideas are materialised as site-specific, ephemeral interventions that build and transform space with perceptual rather than physical tools.
“Wave depicts a sculptural volume unfolding over time – the shape of light seized in perpetual movement,” explains the artist. “It uses ephemeral and intangible materials – light and environmental sounds – and can be traversed by the observer, immersing them into the shapes cast by the undulating light columns. The work creates a malleable experience of scale: it shifts between object and environment depending on the observer’s position inside, outside or at the boundary of the installation.”
With this new venture, La Prairie continues its series of collaborations with international artists. Mr Valbuena’s illuminating installation, which honours the brand’s latest creation, White Caviar Eye Extraordinaire, speaks to La Prairie’s own design aesthetic.
To learn more about the collaboration between La Prairie and Pablo Valbuena, and to experience Wave, visit the dedicated page on La Prairie’s website.