The end of one aesthetic movement and the beginning of another is a bit like the snake eating its own tail. Art doesn’t play friendly with well-defined historical moments. It holds a grudge against limitation. There are more Romantics now than you could swing a dead albatross at—more Decadents than Baudelaire could have imagined. Futurism sells. And the orphans of Impressionism rule the world. Mike Jackson’s stunning luminograms extend toward perfection what many photographers in the early twentieth century began: the Bauhaus abstractions of Moholy-Nagy, for instance, or the “Designs in Abstract Forms of Light” by California photographer, Francis Bruguière. To set the mood for Jackson’s luminograms, I want to open with a piece by Thomas Wilfred who, like Jackson, didn’t just work with light; he played it like an instrument. Wilfred called his art “lumia,” and developed the “clavilux,” a color organ, to orchestrate light as a musician orchestrates sound. The clip below is Wilfred’s Opus 140—something like what I imagine goes through Jackson’s mind, if not his studio.
Mike Jackson’s luminograms are available at MMX Gallery in London. “Each Luminogram is unique and only one Silver Gelatin print is produced of each image.” Get yours here! And be sure to check out Issue 11 of Od Review for Mike Jackson’s extraordinary series, “The Child’s Landscape.”