Ray King’s work is quite technical, in that it uses the reflection and diffraction of light through prisms and special glass panes so the colors actually change throughout the day and also when you walk past it. They’re dynamic works that look different from each angle depending on where the light source is, as you can see in the recent work below (Split Spiral, University of Utah, Logan) unveiled in May. As you pass the building, the facade changes.
Ray King isn’t the type to gain attention by creating a ‘shock effect’, as is often done in art. A unique experience for the audience is more important in his works. Starting off his career using water colors and making sculptures, Ray soon started working with stained glass. This is where his fascination for optics of light started to take shape and since the early 80’s his work has become more technical, in it’s structures as well as in the use and manipulation of light. One of his early works is a structure over 200ft wide that protects part of a court building from the sun through the use of prisms. Inspiration goes back as far as the burning lens of Archimedes and David Rittenhouse, an eighteenth century American scientist who is known for his work in astronomy. Ray remembers being fascinated by colors since he was a young boy.
The work shown here is characteristic for what Ray creates with his team. The geometrical structures and use of prisms, coated glass panes and metals make it look very space age. His work is popular among technical or scientific institutions like universities. There always the natural aspect, the deflection of light that make the installations look calm and peaceful and more in tune with the natural world. And the patterns often remain natural, such as in Dancing Feathers or the Spiral project shown in this article.