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Renowned Light Artist Turns Switch on at Three NYC Spots

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Artist Jim Campbell, known for his LED light installations, has three major events taking place around the city. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

If the city lights seem to be shining a little brighter this week, maybe it's because artist Jim Campbell is back in town, bringing a lot of wattage with him. His newest works are on view at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery in Chelsea. His medium is light.

"Because light doesn't really exist. It's not physical at all so there is something magic about it," says Campbell.

Campbell is based in California, but wowed New Yorkers in 2010 with a massive installation at Madison Square Park. His current pieces achieve the same affect on a smaller scale.

Stephanie Simon: You have some advice for people who want to watch this piece?

Jim Campbell: Yes. I mean if you start looking at this work from straight on it looks completely flat and then as you move to the side you understand there it's kind of distortions and that it's actually six inches deep and the contours it creates.

Now there is a definite buzz coming off of one particular work of art. And even though apparently that is unintentional, it makes sense to me because there is a ton of buzz surrounding Campbell's work right now.

Campbell created an interactive light wall for the Alonzo King LINES Ballet company, performing this week at the Joyce Theater. And the Museum of the Moving Image is presenting a retrospective of Campbell's career through June. Meantime, the Chelsea gallery show is up through April 19th.

"It's not all artists that can say they're really do something that's unique. But in Jim's case it's really true. As an electrical engineer from MIT pairing art, technology and design to really fashion a very unique artistic expression," says Gallery Owner Bryce Wolkowitz.

And while this type of work was once on the periphery of the art world, it is now very much mainstream. Thanks in part to Campbell, art lovers are seeing the light. And you can too.

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