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Label: miguel chevalier

Wednesday 07th December 2016Artist Spotlight: Miguel Chevalier

For thousands of years, churches of every denomination were the center points of art and culture in the West and beyond. They were protected places that escaped much of the harsher aspects of life, allowing them to preserve many more cultural treasures than other places could manage. Of course, this isn't usually the case today, where arts and culture flourish around the world in the absence of global wars, but on one special night the ages were crossed in a very unique way.

That night, of course, was Nuit Blanche in Paris. For those of you unfamiliar with the special day, Nuit Blanche ('white night' in English) is an arts festival that has spread around the world. Essentially, the entire night is transformed through the magic of art, transforming everyday spaces for a single night of celebration. Nuit Blanche festivals can be found in almost every major city with a decent arts presence, from Paris to Vancouver to Melbourne and many places in between.

The particular project we started discussing took place this past Nuit Blanche in the Saint-Eustache Church in Paris. Transformed by digital artist Miguel Chevalier, the massive vaulted ceilings of the church were covered in incredible light shows that transformed the very nature of the shape of the building. The piece, entitled Voûtes Célestes, was accompanied by improvised organ music by Baptiste-Florian Marle-Ouvrard, the organist who usually performs at the regular church services.

While this is Chevalier's latest massive installation project, he's actually been working with digital media for a surprisingly long time. He was one of the first artists to begin employing computers in his work, going back as far as 1978 according to the biography on his personal website.

He has had an incredibly distinguished career, with hundreds of solo and group exhibitions under his belt, springboarded by a degree in Fine Arts and Archaeology from Université de Paris La Sorbonne.

As he puts it himself: "Since 1978, Chevalier has focused exclusively on computers as an artistic means of expression. He quickly secured a spot on the international scene as a pioneer of virtual and digital art. Miguel Chevalier continues to be a trailblazer, and has proven himself to be one of the most significant artists on the contemporary scene.

Miguel Chevalier's oeuvre is experimental and multidisciplinary. Taking references from the history of art and reformulating them using computer tools, his works investigate and explore recurrent themes such as nature and artifice, flows and networks, virtual cities and ornate designs. His images are a rich source of insights into ourselves and our relationship with the world."

Posted on December 07th 2016 on 05:20am
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