Sunday Snapshot 8 - Photographing Art

Welcome to another edition of Sunday Snapshots. Each Sunday, I’ll post a favorite photo from my collection and share a little bit about it. You’ll go behind the scenes on some of our most memorable moments. Enjoy! 

Photographing Art


I took this photo in early January as part of my 2016 photo challenge. It’s a portion of one of our favorite pieces in the Bloch Building of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art titled Chromoplastic Mural by Luis Tomasello. This piece is probably Vince’s favorite in the entire museum, and it’s in my top 10.

What draws us to this particular piece is the way in which it interacts with the wall supporting it. The wall-facing facets of each of the 672 geometric shapes are painted a fantastically fluorescent color, which the wall behind them reflects. The remaining facets are painted white. I love the vibrancy and attention this draws to such a stationary piece.

Another aspect of Chromoplastic Mural that we’ve come to appreciate is its scalability. At first glance, you wouldn’t necessarily realize that each shape within the piece is identical; they’re just rotated at different angles for an added level of complexity and interest. I like to think, then, that an installation like this could be scaled to many different sizes, from a dining room wall (*sigh* someday) to an entire billboard.

It should be noted that the Tomasello's piece does not actually look like this in real life. First, this photo only depicts a worms-eye view of a fraction of the installation. It is at least three times bigger than this. Second, the colors are not true to reality. When I first started playing with this photo in Lightroom, I was trying to figure out a way to make the museum lighting above the installation really enhance the composition of the photograph. The more I highlighted those lights, the greater the vibrancy across the entire photo. If you visit this piece at the Nelson-Atkins, you certainly won’t be disappointed. Just don’t expect its hues to be as saturated as those depicted here.

Photographing other people’s art is a bit tricky for me. On the one hand, art can be a great tool for inspiration. It’s a part of your environment, and you’re merely capturing it. On the other hand, I am taking advantage of someone else’s work for my own gain. Is this okay? Is it not okay? I haven’t decided yet. 

What do you think? Is it okay to photograph other artist's work?