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CHIHULY #1

It is explained at his website that Dale Chihuli was born in 1941 in the city of Tacoma, Washington State (not Washington, DC), that he was introduced to glass while studying interior design at the University of Washington, and that after graduating in 1965, he enrolled in the first glass program in the country, at the University of Wisconsin. The website also explains that he continued his studies at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he later established the glass program and taught for more than a decade. His professional biography also includes his training at the Venini glass factory in Venice, observing the team approach to blowing glass.

What is known to Chihuly’s legion of fans are the extraordinarily beautiful colors that he achieves in his blown glass creations. Artistically he is creative and original. He is successful beyond words for disseminating his artistic productivity in exhibitions held around the world. In the early 16th century, the Venetian Master Titian (Titziano) had collaborated with the glassblowers in Murano to learn about some of their secrets in achieving certain colors, especially the reds. Subsequently, Raphael hired away one of Titian’s assistants and his colors became more vibrant, especially the reds.

I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia, 80 km (50 miles) south of Washington, DC and 80 km north of Richmond, Virginia. In February, family and friends had already seen the special Chihuly exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, and the exhibition was about to come to a close. I knew VMFA was extraordinarily gracious in allowing photography at the exhibition. Accordingly, on February 6 I took my camera gear — a Nikon D200, a compact Nikon S9300, and my iPhone 4 and drove down to Richmond, where I produced several dozen photos. I had the opportunity to compare the equipment, and to experiment with the lighting and colors. In the series I am launching here. What was no surprise to me was that under certain limited conditions I could achieve better results with the iPhone than with the two Nikons.

This first photo in the series shows a handful of visitors shooting photos of the transparent ceiling in one of the hallways, with colored Chihuli glass, backlit. The camera is a compact Nikon Coolpix S9300. In subsequent images I will show the artwork, and in some cases visitors attending the exhibition. Accordingly, they will be uploaded into the group theme, Pictures at an Exhibition.

I recently created a new group theme, Symphonies in Color, adding this photo into the collection. The expression, "A symphony of colors," is the way the great Expressionist painter Vincent van Gogh, in a letter to his brother Théo, described the works of French landscape artist Jules Dupré (1811-1889). Van Gogh's words are also appropriate in describing the still life depicted here. I welcome other TE members to add to the theme.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5973 W: 457 N: 10315] (34577)
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