When artists take to the skies. By Andrea Bruchwitz.
An overhead view reveals new visual dimensions in photography. Objects flatten out, appearing smaller and almost insignificant, causing our firmly established view of everyday life to dissolve. We float above the events on the earth, and the sensation of boundless freedom prevails.
French photographer Félix Nadar took the first aerial photographs all the way back in 1858 with the aid of a hot-air balloon. “The earth unrolls like a giant carpet without edges and has neither a beginning nor an end,” he wrote.
In art, a bird’s-eye view leads to a different form of perception. Cubist painters like Delaunay and Picasso were fascinated with this new way of looking at things and broke down the existing concept three-dimensional space – a revolution in painting.
LUMAS artists Tommy Clarke and Bernhard Lang both use overhead views to enable us to see the beaches of the world in a new light. Clarke and Lang literally lean out of helicopters to photograph coastal landscapes at a right angle. This creates works of art in which the visual structure comprises beach umbrellas and tiny inflatable floats.
Suddenly, we can see life on earth from an entirely new angle. The impressive LUMAS artworks by Kröning & Orel and by Alex MacLean dismantle clichés, showing western life from a whole new perspective. The events on the ground are rearranged.
From Félix Nadar to Bernhard Lang to Alex MacLean, the bird’s-eye view has always fascinated artists and viewers alike. A likely reason for that is that it grants one of mankind’s oldest dreams and gives us wings to fly.