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phosphorescence by Christopher Kennedy, photo luminism

Long exposure capturing multiple static points of light. Created entirely in camera, no digital manipulation. Printed on large format aluminum. These works have extraordinary color, sense of movement and almost 3 dimensionality when viewed in person.

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Comment by Christopher Kennedy on January 8, 2015 at 8:43pm

Please let me know before you come and I will ensure you see some in person - personally!

Comment by Resident Curator on January 8, 2015 at 2:07pm

Thank you for taking the time to respond, and offer insights into your processes and supports.  I enjoyed viewing your website, but imagine the works are more striking in person.  I don't get down to New Hope very often, since there isn't a direct route from Reading, but will look for your wok the next time I go.

Comment by Christopher Kennedy on December 29, 2014 at 11:39am

Hi there.  Firstly, thank you so much for taking a look at my picture.  I appreciate your expert opinion and comment and your insight into the best way to view the Photo Luminism images. Your detailed description towards the end of the comment is also beautifully perceived. 

When I first started pursuing the Photo Luminism path back in 2011 I did extensive research into mediums to print onto. I felt that printing onto paper would suck a lot of the life out of the images, so I refrained from doing so. As you so rightly point out there is tremendous luminescence generated by the LEDs in computer monitors. I wanted to recreate this as closely as possible without the use of highly reflective materials. Brushed aluminum in combination with dye sublimation was the answer. The brushing of the naked aluminum surface produces a wonderful indirect refraction of ambient light. The transparency of the dye sublimation process allows that reflected ambient light to shine back through the inks to the viewer; this has a very similar effect to the LED experience but also adds a sense of movement as one moves past the image and increased depth from any angle.

Interestingly, I was recently approached by a gallery that shows mostly black and white work to put on an exhibition of my work printed and framed traditionally. At this point I knew I was going to have to part with the luminescence and so determined instead to go for the best black I could find on a paper white enough that it would make the colors pop. I ended up printing on a bright white hot press paper. The blacks are velvety and do exactly as I had hoped. I am very happy that the show (at Red Filter in Lambertville, NJ) has sold particularly well to several private collectors. 

I'm not sure where you're based, but I currently have work in public spaces in Chicago, New York and Dubai and  in galleries in Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA. It really has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated. I also hope that you might take a moment to visit my website,, as it's evolved tremendously in the last 3 years. Many thanks again and a Happy New Year!

Comment by Resident Curator on December 29, 2014 at 9:16am

Curator’s Comments:


These “Luminism”/luminous images are quite engaging on an electric, instinctual level.  They speak to the evidence of capturing pure color and energy, which in turn asks a technical question about their final presentation.  I find it interesting that as photographic images they would be printed on large format aluminum.  (Thank you for providing us with a description of the medium and process.)  But that leaves me to wonder if some of the phosphorescence of the refracted light wouldn’t be lost when committed to printed color?  I imagine the purity of the light would ideally be viewed digitally.  In either case, I enjoy viewing this particular image on the screen.  While the other works explore large arcing bands of sheer radiance and saturated lines, in this image I’m rewarded for looking closer. Viewed only in a thumbnail lineup, one can’t appreciate the tiny green tendrils of light that float between the darker red ground and lines. They weave themselves in between the apparent voids, bringing to mind micro/macro particles as well as symbiotic relationships.  There is an enjoyable sensation of both weightlessness and accelerated movement, where the viewer relinquishes their footing in the space.


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