james turrell and lalique design desert-inspired scents and rippled crystal light panels

james turrell and lalique share the same light and the same space

American light artist James Turrellfamous for his Heavenly spaceand French luxury brand Lalique work on a modern collection of crystal light panels and fragrances that will debut at Paris + Art Basel on October 20. James and René Lalique, known as “the sculptor of light”, share a collective admiration for being light and passionate about space. They attempt to bend human perception by examining beauty and life from an artistic point of view, and their reverence for their work, light and space in the Crystal Light panels, which showcase 30 different color sequences made to trigger a vibrational reaction, and Ranger Rider and Purple Sage, two exclusive fragrances made for men and women respectively.

Crystal Light panels ripple to draw viewers into the changing colors and lines they anchor to, a gaze through the metaphorical meaning of intimacy that nourishes one’s soul. As James says, light is closely linked to life and his photographic works made exclusively for Lalique resonate in that life through diffusion and change of color. For perfumes, Ranger Rider and Purple Sage reflect James’ research in the study of a western novel dear to him. From bottles to perfumes, the scents are inspired by desert chains and luminous horizons, and by the Great American West represented by Zane Gray in his novel Riders of the Purple Sage. For the shapes of the bottles, James looks to Egyptian architecture, noting the relationship of the pyramidal structures to high light and spiritual value.


images courtesy of Lalique and James Turrell

James Turrell finds the scent of the Colorado Plateau

James Turrell tries to discover the scent of the Colorado plateau and that of the purple sage that Zane Gray describes in his novel Riders of the Purple Sage. The American artist then combines the scents to create a suggestive fragrance of purple sage and old rubbed skin, ‘the same ones who hang on to our boys when my wife Kyung and I go back to our ranch,’ He adds.

The result grows as Ranger Rider and Purple Sage, a tribute to the novel Gray and James’s fragrance for men and women. Now that perfumes have been invented, modified and unveiled, James moves on to bottle shape. The artist has long been fascinated by Egypt and the stupa forms found in Asia, particularly in Tibet, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Burma, China and Japan. He marvels at their architectural structure, noting the rigid lines and pointed tip of the pyramids, and observes how the light intervenes to fulfill its highly spiritual and precious character role that underlines these architectural wonders.

James takes inspiration from this well and comes up with two bottle designs: one in the shape of Egyptian pyramids and the other in the shape of a dome. James continues with a design that ensures the flow and cadence of light, all while letting a subtle color shine through. He was present throughout the production and even stopped by Wingen-sur-Moder, a French commune, to see the bottles come to life, an experience he reminded James René Lalique and how he started it.

james turrell and lalique design desert-inspired scents and rippled crystal light panels
Ranger Rider perfume

Crystal Light panels study the brilliance of crystal

As a mentor to his pupil, James Turrell reminds his art lovers of the fluidity of crystal. “Of course, this isn’t evident at room temperature,” He adds. Holding the glass, one does not immediately realize how beautiful the liquid is inside, focusing rather on the structure of the glass, the way the hand bends around it and the bottom tilts so that the person can drink till last drop.

“Liquid crystal can take a shape and keep that shape,” says Giacomo. “But after a hundred or two years it succumbs to gravity. This is why we have to turn lenses into telescopes. ‘ The character of the crystal comes to the fore from here. It becomes a spiritual medium that possesses an underrated brilliance, a material that creatives can play with. In his Crystal Light Panels, this is exactly how James approached. He manipulates it so well that viewers have to stop and check three times if what they’re watching overlaps or is just a sphere in a single loop.

From the explanation of how his collaboration with Lalique was born, James touches his ultimate goal in his art. The predilection of him lies in the light that people see when they close their eyes, the one that appears in their dreams both as a secondary character and as a protagonist. He is interested in giving life to the same light: the explosion that turns from being another phenomenon of déjà vu, the ray that shows itself even when people are awake and the ray that gains momentum and value over time.

“We are completely unaware of the power of light. I would like to shed light in such a way that it is an inspiration for things beyond, beyond what we think we know, ‘ he says. The light that James wants to produce, the same light he gave birth to for the collection Laliqueit is all-encompassing: it envelops, lives, makes people think and reconfigures their being.

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