A New Take On An Old Subject

A New Take On An Old Subject

Contemporary artist Pierre Huyghe reinterprets Monet's paintings.

Scientific breakthroughs and technological innovation often precede artistic movements. Most people would agree that art and science are on opposite ends of the intellectual realm, but French artist Pierre Huyghe thinks differently. Like his unlikely predecessor Monet a century before him, both men have an empirical interest in natural phenomena. This interest into the nature of reality is a link between the different disciplines. Huyghe sees his studio not as a place of production, but instead as a lab or place of research. In the 2014 ARTnews article PIERRE HUYGHE: TRAVELER OF BOTH TIME AND SPACE, writer Andrew Russeth investigates Pierre Huyghe’s unusual connections between art, science, and interest in modernist artists. He often deals with weather phenomena’s, nature, and water in his installations much as the Impressionists did in their paintings.

In one of his most recent pieces entitled “Nympheas Transplant (14-18)” (2014), he creates aquariums based on Monet’s self-cultivated and bioengineered garden in Giverny. The aquariums contain samples of water lilies and mimic the exact conditions of Monet’s lily pond in Giverny from the years 1914 to 1918. Pierre Huyghe worked closely with botanists to ensure that the lighting, temperature, humidity, and ecosystem were an exact replica of the original pond. This amount of control mimics the control Monet had over cultivating his garden to create compositions for his paintings. The aquariums often fog up which creates an effect similar to the blurring of form in an impressionistic painting. They reference the atmosphere and composition of Monet’s large-scale paintings of the lily pond that he made towards the end of his life such as Les Nuages.

Both the contemporary and original pieces discuss the same subject through different aspects. Monet’s work investigates the break up of light on the surface of the pond to portray the reflections of both the shore and sky even though neither one is depicted. Monet’s paintings represent nature even though they are not done in plein air, but they are instead mocked up in the studio; however, this separation from direct reference allows them to become more abstract. The artificiality of the painting is echoed in Huyghe’s artificial ecosystem. Monet paints the surface, while Huyghe analyzes the inner workings of the pond. These similarities can also be seen in the rest of Huyghe’s work. His interest in weather phenomena was shared by the impressionists as well. They created paintings that gave the idea of cold snowy days, wet rainy streets, and warm sunny days. Huyghe’s work mimics weather effects in indoor spaces for people to experience first hand.

The connections between art and science are undeniable. Pierre Huyghe has successfully used Monet as inspiration for his radically different work, and both men’s pieces move beyond the ideals of art for their own century. Monet’s large canvases move farther into abstraction while Huyghe’s work verges on scientific experimentation.

Cover Image Credit: Magenta Magazine

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To the guy that shot my brother...


To the guy that shot my brother,

On January 9, 2019 my families entire life changed with one phone call. The phone call that my little brother had been shot in the face, no other details. We didn't need any other details. The woman on the phone who called us in full panic told us where he was so we went, as soon as possible. I don't think it helped that not even 10 min prior I talked to Zach on the phone.. kind of irritated with him, and the ONE TIME I didn't say 'I love you' as we hung up. Could've been the last time we ever spoke.. I remember pulling up to the hospital thinking 'this can't be real' 'it's not our Zach' 'this is just a dream Sarah, WAKE UP' I'd close my eyes really tight just to open them, I was still in the hospital emergency parking lot. I could still hear the ambulance sirens coming. It was all real.

The day our life's changed was definitely a test of faith. A test of how strong we were, as a family. I sat in that waiting room ready to see the damage that has been done to my sweet baby brother. Because at that point we had no idea how lucky he got. That glimpse of seeing Zach will haunt me forever. How helpless I felt in that exact moment frequently wakes me up from these horrific dreams I've been having ever since that day. That is a moment burned into my me and families brain forever.

You always hear about these things in the movies or on the news, a house being shot up, someone shooting another innocent person, not to care if they died on your watch. But we found ourselves on the news.. We have been confined to the hospital since that day. Running on barely any sleep, taking shifts of sleep so we don't make ourselves sick taking care of Zach. Watching him suffer. Undergoing surgeries, to repair the damage you did.

Before I proceed let me tell you a little something about the man you shot.

Zachary Keith Wright. A blonde hair blue eyed boy. Who could potentially be the most annoying human on the planet (possibly coming from his sister). A man who loves his God first, loves his family second. Perfect by no means, but almost perfect to me. A 19 year old who was to graduate high school this month. After graduation he was prepping to leave for Marine boot camp in the summer.. being in the military has been Zach's dream since he could talk. Literally. Running around, playing war with underwear on our heads, and finger guns. Some would say we looked like natural born assassins.. growing up he has been a country boy. Let me tell ya country to the core. He loves this country like he loves his family. He believes in helping people, taking charge in what's right, and never leaving a brother behind. He's lived by that his whole life. Until now....

The day you shot him. The day not only did you change my brothers life, you changed his families life too. The day you almost ripped my brother out of this world... for what? A misunderstanding? Because you've let something take ahold of your life that you can't let go you're willing to kill someone innocent over? Luckily for him, his guardian angels were protecting him in your time of cowardice. There were 3 times that day he should've died, the time you shot him, the time you tried to shoot him again as he stared you directly in the face, (even tho he couldn't talk I know you could read his eyes, and he still intimidated you. That's why you tried to pull the trigger again) and the time he was running out of the house. But he lived. A man who was shot in the face, didn't lay there helpless, didn't scream in agony. That MAN walked to the neighbors to get help. Why? Because he's a MAN, and because he's on this earth for a reason.

It's gonna sound a little strange not only to you, but the audience who is reading this. I must say thank you. Even in this situation, this was the best outcome we could get. He gets to live. He will make a full recovery. He will graduate. And he will go off into the Marines. You united my family together. Closer than ever. Thank you. You tested our faith and brought us closer to our God. Thank you. Because of your moment of weakness, you showed us what prayer could do. Heal anything. Thank you. This was a bump in the road, and a helluva way to kick off our year of 2019. But here we are.. all laying in the hospital. I'm looking around as mom is sleeping in her recliner chair exhasted but still here, Zach his awake playing his xbox all hooked up to machines, fighting to heal and get better. And of course I'm writing this letter to you.

See you in trial,

From the girl whose brother you shot.

'Fight the good fight' - 1 Tim 6:12 🤟🏼💙

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