Brice Wood makes pictures of night.

They are acrylic collages, dark squares that invite you into a place of midnight blues and blacks. This is a world of suggestion, rather than solidity: starlight on snow, a crack of light under a doorway, the after-image when you close your eyes. These pictures should be viewed the way that astronomers look at the stars: with your eyes focused slightly to the side.

Night Blue #10

Essay:   The SQUARE 

All the pictures in my series of collages "Night Blue" are square, as are many of the works which led up to them. I've been working with squares for years, and recently I've been thinking about the qualities that make squares interesting to an artist.  

Squares possess some unusual characteristics. For one thing, they don't occur much in nature. Most of the other simple shapes can be found in everyday reality, but squares are rare. Pentagons and hexagons are far more common than squares (think flower shapes and beehives and snowflakes). We see a lot of circles: the sun and the full moon and the shape of the eye. Even spirals occur more often than squares.   

When I was young I was taught many incorrect things about what we see, but few of those errors were as egregious as the rules that there are no straight lines in nature, and no right angles. Anyone who has stood on the shore of a large body of water (or anywhere in Kansas) has seen that the horizon is a straight line. If there were pine trees nearby our observer might note right angles between the trees and the horizon.

Where I live in Arizona the landscape is stratified into parallel layers, and canyon walls are often vertical, forming right angles. Sometimes in the canyons, the walls are broken into rectangles and parallelograms. But not squares.

About the only squares you are likely to find in the everyday world - and you'll need a magnifying glass to...

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