Mitchell Funk, ‘Rings of Color ’, 1977, Robert Funk Fine Art

Mitchell Funk is a 10 trick pony with a variety of innovated styles over a 45 year period. This is an early example of in-camera multiple exposure semi-abstraction. Pulsating rings of bold bleeding colors emerge from a central source and emanate out in concentric circles. A target shape composition is formed with the bullseye being white instead of black. The image is simultaneously flat yet dimensional. It’s visually compelling abstract composition of color evokes a Frankentahler or Louis sensibility. However, this work takes it up a notch with intense color and luminosity that can only come from a photograph . Intersecting the rings, are faintly seen horizontal clouds that run along the upper left quadrant of the image. On first sight, the viewer is not sure what is going on. The clouds define the place and give the viewer a hint of what the image is about. Yet still the image remains an enigma. It’s a portrait of a late afternoon sun. The colored rings are the result of colored gels the photographer put over the lens. This method of creating custom colored filters was pioneered by Mitchell Funk in the 1970’s. Back then, there were just so many things one could do manipulate a photograph. There was no photoshop. Funk experiment with filters. Done with a fixed focal length 50mm lens, he stepped down to f13 so not to overexpose the sun or underexpose the colored rings. The effect of the image is nothing short of hypnotic. Photograph of the sun, it’s Mitchell Funk’s dazzling take on a subject that artists have pondered since the earliest times.

Signature: Signed and dated on lower right, numbered on verso, 1/15, other size available, unframed Printed later

About Mitchell Funk