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Quasi Una Fantasia is an abstract dance film for paint. Artist, Jeff Scher created the film as a spontaneous visualization of the titular piano sonata by Beethoven (commonly known as the “Moonlight Sonata”), applying acrylic gouache to a cylindrical canvas lampshade in sequential improvisations over the course of weeks. As the lampshade revolves, the animation is recapitulated and developed with added layers of paint, building a more complex composition with every turn. Like the sonata, the work builds upon itself, growing in richness and density until its explosive conclusion.
Jeff Scher is an experimental animator who relishes traditional analogue technology, shooting most of his films and videos on a classic animation stand. He has frequently explored hand-drawn rotoscoping in a wide range of styles (and often combined with collage), to distill live-action footage into paint on paper. He is interested in the challenge of making complex work with simple techniques and minimal materials, and his current practice utilizes everyday objects including cans and hat boxes as looping devices to build expansive imagery on a limited number of repeating cels.
Midnight Moment is the world’s largest, longest-running digital art exhibition, synchronized on electronic billboards throughout Times Square nightly from 11:57pm to midnight. Presented by the Times Square Advertising Coalition and curated by Times Square Arts since 2012, it has an estimated annual viewership of 2.5 million.
Photograph courtesy of Ka-Man Tse for Times Square Arts.