Nevada City resident unveils installation in Times Square
Nevada City resident Tahiti Pehrson’s newest work is “The Journey of Light,” a site-specific installation at Viacom’s iconic Times Square location in partnership with Art At Viacom. “The Journey of Light” is Pehrson’s most ambitious effort to date, featuring three immense light-based installations made entirely 100 percent cotton rag paper made by Legion Paper. These installations feature more than 600 square feet of geometric patterns meticulously hand-cut using 11,083 X-ACTO blades. Designed to play on the natural light from the sun’s transit across the entrance windows at 1515 Broadway, the monochromatic paper structures generate a constant flux of shadows and shifting light as day transitions to night.
Pehrson’s artistic process revolves around the idea of transformation. “The Journey of Light” came to Pehrson during a decline in the health of his father in direct contrast to the increasing vitality and growth of his young daughter. The coexistence of these opposing life stages and the artist’s own relation to them inspired this three-part installation celebrating the transition through the major phases of life — birth, adulthood and death.
Pehrson describes “The Journey of Light” as “…a meditation on our transitory experience. Each of the three installations represents a stage of life, concentrating on the light and repetition that is emblematic of our personal generational experience as well as the pattern of our larger human experience.”
Strongly influenced by the architecture and location of Viacom’s iconic Times Square location, this installation aims to reflect and embody the bustle of the intersecting lives evident in Times Square and the unity found in all of life’s transitioning stages.
The Fates — The largest component of The Journey of Light installation is three 17-foot towers installed at the entrance of Viacom’s Times Square offices. A large “flower” emerges from concentric circles created by repeating patterns based on the Fibonacci sequence. The simultaneous images created by the collage of patterns and line variance embodies the core of Pehrson’s inspiration.
Two Legs During the Day — Taken from the Riddle of the Sphinx, Two Legs During the Day represents adulthood, wherein we are the subject of our own attention. The fully immersive structure features a door where the viewer may enter and become the subject. The moiré patterns envelop the subject, placing them firmly in the midst of simultaneously existing images, just as adulthood finds us perfectly placed to concurrently observe both the past and the future.
Transfiguration — The third and final component of the project features a hanging installation of geometric mandalas floating out over the escalator entrance space. When exiting the building, the rounds graduate in size, giving the impression they, too, are exiting with the viewer. Conversely, when entering the building, the hanging mandalas diminish in size and fall closer to the viewer as they walk deeper into the space, leading them into the cycle of life.
Born in 1972 in Santa Rosa, Pehrson spent his childhood in Nevada City. Raised in a family of artists, he attended the San Francisco Art Institute before leaving to explore his own voice through street art. The art of stencilmaking for street pieces quickly evolved into his highly detailed practice of hand-cutting two- and three-dimensional sculptures using paper. Pehrson has since been successfully working with the medium for over 15 years. Though immediately assumed to be executed using the help of a laser cutter, all of the artist’s work is created using a No. 13 X-ACTO blade.
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