A New Light
Permanent Collection by Tim Davis
In his series Permanent Collection, artist Tim Davis captures what he describes as the “grand and gorgeous failures of light to sync up to its supposed functions” by photographing historic works of art obscured by glaring museum lights. Davis traveled to museums across America and Europe to select paintings for the series, many of them considered to be canonical masterpieces. Taking his time to shoot each work, the artist positioned himself at oblique angles so that the existing lights would blot the surface of the painting—transforming it into something new—an image where light becomes part of the content. By altering the carefully calculated environment in which the painting is intended to be viewed, Davis changes the narrative and the historical works emerge transformed, to be seen in a new light.