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"The Reflective Powers of Water as Visual Alchemy"

“The Reflective Powers of Water as Visual Alchemy” is California artist Marques Vickers photographic edition of over 120+ images of inverted and reflective objects created by water exposure. The diverse photo sequence was captured through various bodies of water and fountains throughout northwestern Washington State.


The transparency properties of water create magical illusions for reflective and submerged objects. Their reappearance creates inverted shapes and forms resembling non-objective artwork. Water based distortions become variations of substance and shadow resembling visual alchemy. Though water appears crystalline, in truth its instinctive properties are a slightly bluish hue. The accentuated surface tension diffuses and redistributes color seemingly random and erratically. The interaction between deconstructed color created layers of overlap suggesting a deepened texture.

Alchemy in its purest form is the ability to transmute base metals into noble and precious derivatives such as gold. The practice of western alchemy dates back to ancient Egypt with the city of Alexandria as its capital. Islam and Asian based religions embraced the shadowy art from their earliest inception. This ancient transformation of base metals symbolically assumed a spiritual dimension as an elixir of life. In the context of water reflection, linear shapes are restructured into abstractions and curvatures. Objects are liberated from their fixed matter and reshaped into fluid forms lacking edge and definition.

The decline of alchemy as an established practice was facilitated in the early eighteen century by the rise and acceptance of modern scientific methodology. Ancient spirituality and mysticism were displaced by experimentation and quantitative comparison. Chemistry universally replaced the role of alchemy.

There remains a space for interpretive alchemy when one views the unlocked reflections stimulated by water. Restructuring matter becomes as mystical as water transforming into vapor under extreme heat.

Does not life resemble a vapor? demands the poet. There is room for suspending concrete imagery and structured color each time we view the reflective and distorting properties of water. The results create stunning and unimaginable imagery.

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The Artistic and Alchemic Reflective Properties of Water and Glass
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