The astounding images of the latest Volkswagen Arteon are taking the Internet by storm.
They are a mixture of high definition photography and light painting. Truly exquisite.
Created by a blind photographer.
“I’m a visual person. I just can’t see,” says Pete Eckert of himself.
Thirty years ago Eckert was preparing to enter Yale to study architecture when he learned that he would lose his sight to retinitis pigmentosa, reports Patrick Coffee for Adweek. Sometime thereafter he discovered an old camera and taught himself to take photographs.
Then he discovered light painting photography in 2000 while searching for artistic ways to depict blindness. His light painting work has been exhibited on an International level and he was the grand prize winner of the Artist Wanted “Exposure” Contest in 2008.
Light painting photography is an art form where the artist uses hand-held light sources to selectively illuminate parts of a scene to be photographed. The image is captured using the long exposure technique.
“In his first project for an auto brand, Eckert combined his unique sculptural approach with a series of brightly colored flash lights and long-exposure techniques to frame the Arteon as a marvel of modern design. In some cases, the car looks to be generating sparks or appears as a kind of mirage whose physical form is not quite clear,” writes Coffee.
For the beautiful images of the new Arteon, the blind photographer learned the lines of the car through carefully tracing its shape with his hands and tapping the bodywork.
This is how he describes what he ‘sees’ when touching the car: “This car is very sculptural, the lines are quite exquisite because they blend and reappear and disappear. It visually has a sense of speed but a subtle sense of art.”
When he has the picture in his mind, comes his surprising instruction: “Light should be off.” The image is taken in complete darkness!
In the video above he explains that the images he takes are built up from all his other senses. He uses sound, touch and memory to see. “I work in slow speed photography and light to mimic what it’s like to be blind.”
Eckert’s unique approach has clearly been a great promotional success for Volkswagen. Xavier Chardon Volkswagen head of marketing had this to say: “The new Arteon represents expressive, avant-garde design. Pete Eckert has presented this design in a unique way. The images he has created are genuine works of art and have a very special atmosphere that only he can create.”
The fact that Eckert became blind at a young age, never diminished his sense of himself as a visual person and a visual artist. His work is an inspiration and testament to the irrepressible human spirit.
Agency: Grabarz & Partner
Photographer: Pete Eckert