One of the newest trends in the built environment is the use of contemporary artwork. It’s everywhere, from murals to sculpture, to paintings and mixed media works.
Indoor, outdoor — art now surrounds us.
You don’t have to go to museums or art galleries to see great work anymore. New planning guidelines encourage developers and designers to incorporate public art into every construction — inside lobbies and out to exterior spaces. It’s an incredible time for people to experience “art spaces” all over their community.
Art has the ability to affect our energy, our mood and even our productivity. Designers are now paying close attention to the art that goes into new projects. Workplaces, college campuses, hospitals, and civic buildings are all being transformed with new art. As an architectural photographer, I’m fascinated by how this art can shape our every experience. The size, color and medium effects each of us differently.
In workplaces, art often becomes one of the “amenities” of a company’s culture. Massive art pieces become just as important as foosball tables or free snacks. After photographing dozens of Art Spaces as part of Kilroy Realty’s Regional Art Collection, I had the pleasure of visiting Kilroy workplace projects in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco.
When I photograph Art Spaces, scouting is essential. I want to see the art in its space at different times of day and in various lighting conditions. I want to step back and watch how people interact with the art throughout the day and how their mood shifts in proximity. My goal is to capture, in two-dimensions, what it’s like to experience the art in person. During scouting, I want to get a sense of the city, the neighborhood, and the entrance to the space. I need to understand the building first-hand — on foot, on bike, through the parking garage and experience the approach.
One of my favorite things is being able to meet the artists themselves while working on-site. It’s cool to be able to watch them in action painting a mural or installing a sculpture. I sometimes discuss with them about their process and vision — or compare it to my own photographic process.
It was my grandfather who first taught me how art connects people. Art became a vehicle for the two of us to explore the world together, traveling across time and space to learn about different people, places and perspectives.Today, art still has that effect on me — it reminds me to stop, look and listen to what’s around me.
I’m thrilled to see this boom in quality and quantity of public art. Thanks to innovators like Kilroy more and more people are given a chance to see, engage, and be transported by art. We all need that little extra inspiration and a moment to daydream — let’s keep the art coming!
See the Kilroy Featured Gallery here.