Photo Challenge: Abstract

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Jeppe Hein, Please Touch the Art, Mirrors, waterfront, Brooklyn, Dumbo, New York, Abstract

During the summer of 2003 I practically lived at the National Gallery of Canada. Working as a tour guide in Canada’s capital city, I frequently visited the Gallery with throngs of grade seven and eight students who were, understandably, more interested in the Ottawa River dance cruise than the Gallery’s 65,000 works of art.

Each group, however, was a mixture of astonished, dumbfounded, infuriated and elated when they came face-to-face with the Voice of Fire. Standing close to 18 feet in height, its massive size “transforms the space and tests the viewer’s sensory experience.


Back in the early 1990s, the Gallery paid $1.8 million for this work of art by Barnett Newman, a New York based artist who focused on abstract expressionist paintings. Today, $1.8 million is less than the average price for a detached home in Vancouver, but in the early 1990s, with the country on the verge of a recession, that amount of money equated to a national controversy.

According to the Ottawa Citizen, the purchase resulted in outrage in Parliament and a flood of letters to the editor. Gallery officials were also required to explain themselves to a Commons committee.

This was the scene outside of the Gallery. When seeing the Voice of Fire with your own eyes, it’s much easier to kindle an appreciation for the controversial work of art. Depending on where you’re standing in the room and the length of time you spend gazing at the painting, the three lines can engulf your vision.

As explained on Robert Genn’s blog, the Voice of Fire may appear simple, but it may also have a depth which only time and appreciation can bring.

For this week’s photo challenge from The Daily Post, I’m sharing a few abstract pictures from a recent trip to Newman’s hometown: New York. Like the Voice of Fire, each image is best experienced with an open mind.

Abstract, Times Square, Long Exposure, squiggle

Long-exposure in Times Square, New York.

Jeppe Hein, Please Touch the Art, Mirrors, waterfront, Brooklyn, Dumbo, New York, Abstract

Mirror maze artwork by Jeppe Hein in the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

one world trade center, tunnel, white, hall, abstract, ground zero, 9/11

Walkway below One World Trade Center, New York.

This post was inspired by The Daily Post’s photo challenge. To join their next challenge, check out their blog. New themes are announced every Friday.

20 Comments
  • rubyr8 January 23, 2017, 4:20 pm Reply

    That is one very expensive set of lines…lol. Who knew 4 lines could cause that much trouble 🙂 , thanks for the interesting info.

    • Jon January 26, 2017, 10:24 pm

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

      • rubyr8 January 27, 2017, 3:16 pm

        You’re welcome 🙂

  • spiritofdragonflies June 5, 2016, 10:04 pm Reply

    I love the mirror exhibit. The Abstract painting reminded me of Ellsworth Kelly, my son’s employer. My son is an artist as well. Not everyone understands abstract art but it was a movement back in its day and Ellsworth remained true to himself and his art. Ellsworth died last December so this brought him to mind. A was a wonderful man and we miss him.
    Love your photos. I haven’t had the opportunity to visit One World Trade Center – love the angle of your photo. I enjoyed the visit!

  • Linda Arthur Tejera April 26, 2016, 10:05 am Reply

    Love these photos! I’m especially taken with the mirror maze! 🙂

    • Jon April 26, 2016, 10:24 am

      Thanks so much for visiting my site!

  • cinova April 24, 2016, 6:51 pm Reply

    That mirror maze is an awesome art installation. And I can imagine how one might be immersed by the wall of fire. Love your blog, by the way.

    • Jon April 24, 2016, 7:11 pm

      Thanks so much for checking out my blog!

  • aekshots April 24, 2016, 12:31 pm Reply

    Nice angle on the walkway shot.

    • Jon April 24, 2016, 12:58 pm

      Thanks for checking out my blog!

  • sandramytravelness April 24, 2016, 10:58 am Reply

    Amazing post!

    • Jon April 24, 2016, 11:06 am

      Thank you!

  • swritings April 24, 2016, 5:40 am Reply

    The mirror maze is amazing! Love all the shots!☺

    • Jon April 24, 2016, 8:26 am

      Thank you!

  • rxfrazier April 24, 2016, 1:37 am Reply

    Nice images, Jon. And a very thoughtful discussion. I, too, like the mirror sculpture. A delight for the eye. And thank you for stopping by my blog and taking a moment to comment.

    • Jon April 24, 2016, 8:29 am

      Thanks so much – glad to hear you enjoyed the shots.

  • Galen911 April 24, 2016, 1:09 am Reply

    Excellent!!!

  • Nicole Martin April 23, 2016, 11:30 pm Reply

    I absolutely love this mirror maze Jon. You are a talented photographer! Cheers Nicole

    • Jon April 23, 2016, 11:32 pm

      Thanks so much Nicole!

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