A premier American art fair, Art Basel drew a record 75,000 visitors to Miami Beach in December to view exhibits from over 250 leading galleries representing 30 countries around the globe. None of these exhibits shone brighter than the Alexander Mijares Gallery, which featured a massive 36-foot wide by 26-foot high surrealistic mural on its front wall, bathed in a stunning rainbow of colors by our COLORado 1-Quad IP wash lights. CHAUVET Professional fixtures were also in high profile inside the Mijares Gallery, where award-winning Ovation E-190WW LED ellipsoidals focused warm white light on the most important works of art in the 30-piece display, giving them weight and articulation.
According to lighting designer Ruben Laine of DMDS7UDIOS, the CHAUVET Professional products helped him meet the challenges of illuminating the outdoor mural and indoor space at Mijares, which, like many Art Basel exhibitors, was a “pop-up” gallery located in a leased venue. The huge front mural, painted by Alexander Mijares in 12 hours over two days, was built around the theme “Make Art, Not War” and featured many of the artist’s recurring themes such as angels, women and flower petals along with a decorated M16 machine gun. “As far as non-architectural large canvases go, it was by far my biggest subject,” said Laine.
The hardest part of illuminating the mural, according to the designer, was rigging the lighting fixtures in place without being able to make a permanent installation, however the easily linkable, outdoor-IP66-rated COLORado 1-Quad IP LED fixtures proved more than up to the task. “Once hung, the COLORado’s shone by their own merit and made the job as easy as daisy-chaining weather-proof connectors, addressing the fixtures and pressing ‘Play,’” said Laine.
Powered by seven 70-watt quad-color RGBW LEDs, the COLORado 1-Quad IP provides extremely smooth color mixing and brightness, featuring an 11.5° beam angle and 25° field angle. Laine mounted a total of 10 COLORado 1-Quad IP units on the top of the wall, spacing the center 8 units evenly at 36 inches and extending the peripheral units 44 inches out.
“The beautiful beam spread of the COLORado 1-Quad IP units did all the work,” said Laine, “shining evenly from the top of the wall all the way down to the sidewalk. The units’ four-color LEDs provided the perfect application for the job, allowing us to wash the piece with a nice, even white light for showcasing the art, while at night it gave us a chance to play with the art’s high contrast and super-saturated colors. By applying a nice crawling rainbow wave, we offset the visual white balance of the entire space and … transformed (the mural) into a living, breathing, very organic monster surrounded by otherwise white and neutral galleries.
Further praising the COLORado 1-Quad IPs, Laine commented, “They are a perfect example of the evolutionary process of the CHAUVET brand. I love the quad lens, its wider beam spread, great color mixing, amazing punch, soft pastel and bright whites, oh and they hung on a rooftop for a week resisting the elements.”
Inside the Mijares Gallery, our Ovation E-190WWs made an equally distinguishing mark. The 2,960K warm white LED ellipsoidal, which recently captured the prestigious WFX 2013 New Technology Award, features a flat, even field of light and 16-bit dimming resolution for extremely smooth fades. “I can totally see this fixture becoming a go-to product at art shows,” said Laine, “where priceless art pieces need a controlled environment that goes well beyond light output to include other important elements such as room temperature. With the Mijares Gallery being a pop-up type venue, we couldn’t risk running a truckload of lights without knowing if there was proper ventilation and air conditioning. The E-190WWS helped us in every aspect imaginable for this event.”
With a limited supply of Ovation E-190WWs at his disposal, Laine re-focused the units on different pieces of art each night of the show. One of the pieces eternally lit was a painting of an angel. “The tungsten-like hue of the Ovation E-190WWs provided the perfect glow it needed. On the main event night, we focused two E-190WWs opposite each other on a sculpture made of sheet metal treated with heat and patinas, and created an intensity wave going back and forth. As the light shined through the cutouts and edges of the piece, the angel almost came to life; also, the lucky photo-bombers standing nearby got gobo-like shadows of the piece on them, thanks to the Ovations’ nice, even field of light.”
But perhaps the strongest tribute to the Ovation E-190WW at Art Basel came in the form of its prodigious salesmanship during the five-day fair. “Every piece we lit with the Ovations sold within 48 hours,” reported Laine. “It was a testament to the fact that proper lighting is key.”