Today I left the Ingo Maurer exhibit/store in Soho with a new take on an everyday object. Ingo Maurer is a German-born artist who focuses his work on light, and the playful manipulation of it. He has been designing with light for 45+ years.
Maurer makes a point to make his work transparent. He doesn’t hide the technology behind luminosity. He wants you to see the raw wires and understand the beauty of man-made illumination.
“We just want to name and shame the extinction of the incandescent bulb, a little, harmless yet powerful widget that makes light in a way you can not simulate” –Maurer
One of Maurers most iconic pieces is entitled Lucellino. Lucellino translates to “little bird”. The piece itself looks like a creature spawned by the fusion of the technological and the natural world. The creature’s body is a simple light bulb but is complimented by anatomically proportionate wings made from goose feathers. The winged bulb is a direct reflection of the artist’s playfulness and fantastical view of the world.
The piece that stood out the most to me was entitled Biotype. The fixture was made of dyed sea sponges. It was speckled with realistic yet larger-than-life insects. The light was suspended over an enormous glass table. The table touched on celestial. It was simple and familiar, yet mystifying and multifaceted. The table had LED lights distributed across the surface. The lights appeared to be self-luminescent but were actually all resting on a sheet of clear conductive film.
The Soho space was continuously unfolding. I was surprise by the diversity in Maurer’s work. Some other notable pieces included a light fixture made out of the same metal used to construct airplane wings, light bulb holograms, and chandeliers made from crushed fine china.