Matthew Penn combines traditional painting techniques with the latest lighting technology to create portraits that come to life. He relies on ERCO for the spotlight systems which he tailors precisely to his paintings to enhance their production and the display of his art.
Portrait of an Unknown Man in Oil: His skin shows delicate nuances in colour – tiny wrinkles, pores, each hair, silvery stubbles stand out from darker parts of the face in almost three-dimensional reality.
More precise, it seems, than a photo, the whole image appears to be emerging from the deep black of the background. The use of bold contrasts between light and dark elements of a picture – known as the “chiaroscuro” effect – is a technique which was commonly employed in art in the late Renaissance period and in Baroque. It was very popular with painters such as Caravaggio, Tizian or Rembrandt.
One must understand: the light is part of the art
Penn, leaves nothing to chance. This applies to his artwork as much as to his studio, which he designed in every detail to suit his requirements. Penn has come to see the illumination of his paintings as an integral part of his art: “From now on, I won´t sell an artwork, unless someone uses ERCO lighting to light the picture.
One must understand: the light is part of the art. Although it is not attached to it, it is part of the artwork. It gives the exact effect I desire,” he explains. “I will only use ERCO lighting because I believe it’s the best. Also, using LED lighting has the important advantage that there is no UV damage to the pictures and no heat damage either.”
‘we can enhance the visual effects I have created as a painter’
There are billions and billions of things you can do in the art world, an endless number of ideas and concepts that can be realised. But I am only interested in this tiny percentage, this one thing that I believe is the way that I should continue.
There will always be these dark backgrounds in my work and the highlighted areas in the faces of the people I portray.ERCO lighting systems provide coming all mysterious to the real world professionally.