A Sense of Mystery as Light Merges with Color
Artist Jay Shinn uses Selecon Display Profiles to create a three-dimensional installation
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
by Philips Strand Lighting


In the entertainment industry, designers use light as an artistic accompaniment to the full production, but artist Jay Shinn has taken this notion a step further by actually using light to both create and be a part of his artwork. Commissioned by the Art-in-Buildings Program which curates a rotating exhibition space of contemporary art in the lobby of 55 Fifth Avenue in New York City, Shinn has created both a unique and astonishing projected painting installation entitled "Doublerama" using his lighting fixture of choice, the Selecon Display Profile.

“The planning for my projected paintings is ongoing for about six months and each is very site specific to the environment they are going into,” began Shinn. “In the planning stage, I am constantly doing a lot of geometrical abstraction drawings because I have to find the right image for the environment and I start with a site visit to determine how the projection can be set up. In this particular application there was a curved wall with a column in the space so I chose to use two Selecon Display Profiles to create one large image projection. Projected paintings bring a three dimensional element to the work with the projection coming from a gobo created off my drawings and all the color is then painted into the projected image. While I have a general idea of what it is going to look like before I get started, I make a lot of design choices once on location in order to create a unique and fresh artwork installation.”

With installations on display around the world, Shinn’s artwork seeks to “push the limitations of simple two-and three-dimensional geometric constructions” and in his painted projection series the fixture chosen to create the projections is an essential piece of the process that must be able to provide two crucial elements, long lamp life and image stability.

Shinn explains, “When I project onto the wall and then paint into the projection, precision and long lamp life are extremely important which is why I currently use the Selecon Display Profiles. With Doublerama I would be using two fixtures to project the one image so once they were positioned in place they had to be stable and be able to hold that position over a long period of time. I also like how the Display Profile has the focus and zoom capabilities right on the light. The throw distances of my projections can be anywhere from 9-24 feet depending on the location and the depth of the room so with the Display Profile I can find the exact zoom and focus needed to create the perfect image projection.”

Engineered from aluminum pressure die-castings, the Selecon Display Profile is a sophisticated profile luminaire which provides a high-output and high-quality optical system for gobo projections and accurate beam shaping. With Allen key lock-offs, reference scales for all adjustments, plus two zoom optical systems of 15-35 and 25-50 degrees, the Display Profile effectively assures the integrity of any lighting design with precise illumination.

“Having the zoom and focus capabilities really drew me to the Display Profile and I have been using them for about two years now. With the lights I used before, they were more theatrical and weren’t really made for long lamp life or for stability over a long period of time. I found that they might slip or shift which would give me a lot of trouble with the projected paintings that have to be precisely held in place over the full life of the installation. With the craftsmanship of the Selecon Display Profile I have been very pleased. When you tighten them into place they stay where needed and their lamps shine bright for a long time.”

As a finished installation, Doublerama creates the mystical illusion of a three dimensional object floating in space, and with more projected painting installations planned for future spaces Shinn is excited to continue his use of the Selecon Display Profile which actually becomes part of the installation itself.

“I really enjoy working with the Display Profile fixtures. They are simple and minimal and this goes very well with my design aesthetic,” concluded Shinn. “With the fixture exposed it becomes a part of the work itself and people often want to see what is painted and what is projected. With the sleek design of the Selecon Display Profile I don’t have to try and hide or mask the fixtures in the installation and I am able to create a unique sense of mystery for the viewers as the light merges with the colors of the painting.”

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