Belgian architect-artist

Koen Deprez

1983

Phare

Phare is an oversized standard lamp with a rotating light bulb. Sources of inspiration include the so-called Martini tower in Brussels (named after the makers of the famous aperitif, whose trademark sits atop the building) and the Statue of Liberty in New York. At the time of making the work, Deprez was reading Delirious New York by Rem Koolhaas (b.1944).
In the 1980s, however, a rotating Mercedes sign surmounted the tower. Deprez lived nearby and, as the symbol turned, it filled his apartment with greyish blue shadows. The play of light and shade added a completely new spatiality to his familiar surroundings. Captivated by the material impact of such an intangible phenomenon, the artist set about creating his own lamp.
Once finished, it was exhibited in different contexts including, to name but one venue, Victor Horta's house in Brussels. The lamp acquired different characteristics in each new location. But the true potential of Phare was only revealed when Deprez took it home. Far too large for a living room, the light acquired monumental proportions within the domestic environment. One day, Deprez climbed the Martini tower: he was able to watch the play of shadows inside his own room. Phare thus can be interpreted as a structure that bears witness to the impact of context on the interpretation of form.

Phare, mixed technique, 295 x 60 x 60 cm

Phare, mixed technique, 295 x 60 x 60 cm