N-YHS: Living Painting
New York, NY | November 2011
The Living Painting is a unique experience that greets visitors immediately as they enter the reconfigured New-York Historical Society. It transports visitors back in time to the revolutionary moment that caught fire in New York and ultimately let to the founding of a new nation and the New-York Historical Society itself. The installation brings to life Johannes Adam Simon Oertel's painting "Pulling Down the Statue of King George III".
As visitors enter the building, they see what appears to be a large painting at the end of the entry hall. The “painting” actually consists of a five-by-two array of LCD panels. The image on each panel comes within 2.8mm of each edge, so the overall effect is of a single scene over 11 feet wide and nearly 8 feet high transected by a few very thin black lines. The painting depicts a mob of colonists at dusk with the soon to be destroyed statue at the focal point of the scene.
Using sound and animation, various elements of the painting come to life. Subtle animations within the painting are triggered by visitor proximity. Animations consist of drifting smoke, the pulling down of the horse statue, waving arms, and a running dog...just to name a few. Carefully composed audio elements contribute to the feeling that the painting has come to life. Although the resulting experience is still very much like looking at an oil painting, the sense of observing an actual event is enhanced.Back to Portfolio