Olafur Eliasson is not an astronaut and no powerful optics are required to appreciate his work. Best known for his big installations, Mr. Eliasson uses natural elements such as light, water or air temperature to create unique experiences for visitors of their “spaces”. In 1996, he began developing his specific artistic inclinations with the aid of Mr. Einar Thosteinn, an architect and an expert in geometry. The result was a piece named “8900054″ – a large stainless-steel dome that was seen as growing from the ground. Though the effect was a visual illusion, the mind simply couldn’t help but believing it was a part of a larger construction, extending beneath the surface.

Since then, his illusions grew to match the size of installations designed to be experienced by many spectators at a time. A fitting descriptor for such works would probably be – an environmental illusion. He has created waterfalls in New York’s river that seem to emerge from the base of a bridge, or simply from thin air. In Tate Modern’s Turbine room, he created an installation to represent the sun and the sky, in duo-chrome (yellow and black) – using hundreds of lamps to form the sun, and a fully mirrored ceiling to create an image of the space below. The radiating light, a subtle mist and the reflections above created a feel of an immense, otherworldly environment. The exhibition was seen by two million people.

His latest work is Your Rainbow Panorama – a giant ring with walls of glass, in every color of the spectrum. It sits on top of the ARoS museum, in Arhus, Denmark, and provides a 360º view of the city. Though complementary with surrounding colors, the colors of the ring are those that define the perception of the city that lies below. Every one of Mr. Eliasson’s installations is an immersive experience, designed to alter the perception of the space they claim.

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