Φωτοφίλτρο / Fotofíltro

oil on canvas (linen)
60 × 120 cm
November 2009

The motivation for creating this work stemmed from a somewhat rash promise at the farewell reception of my former colleague Wolfgang Knöbel in 2007. For me at least, his departure had been an unexpected one, and I hadn’t prepared a gift.  So I said: ‘I’ll make a painting for you’.  Along the way it became a symbolic scene which I knew Wolfgang would understand and appreciate.


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The scene focuses around the developmental stages of an outdoor textile sunblind, a project I embarked on towards the end of my professional career, and in which Wolfgang took part (I remain passionate about the matter). The printed lotus flower on the product represents the dirt-resistant behaviour of the fabric in outdoor contexts. This behaviour, and the nanotechnology involved, was Wolfgang’s contribution to the product’s development. 

A secondary theme incorporated in the painting derives from the conversations I used to have with Wolfgang, in which we discussed matters relating to innovation (the latter has degenerated into a buzzword these days, in my opinion). Usually during these chats, it didn’t take long before we found ourselves discussing the Citroën DS, as an example par excellence of innovation avant la lettre.

The Greek title Fotofíltro, the working title for the outdoor sunblind product, means ‘light filtering’, analogous to the Latin Luxaflex (for light deflection), the famous brand name. The Greek letter Φ (phi), present in the title twice, also symbolises a commonly used mathematical ratio in painting: the divine proportion. I thought it would be interesting to concentrate both the subject matter and the vanishing point in the divine proportion. 


The divine proportion:
Φ = (1+√5) / 2 = 1.618…

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