…From those years he lugged a suitcase full of paper lanterns around the globe to his rapid mastery of the design world, Arbel hasn’t changed in his essentials: he still doesn’t know where his experimentations are headed (31 projects are in progress); and light, the ultimate and ever-changing material, remains his obsession. He laughs out loud when he sees an October sunset: “This is the only place in the world that gets this kind of light, you know.” We’re driving through farmland, out near Langley. “This horizontal, surreal light. It’s yellow, a cold white-yellow. All the edges of things go crisp.” I tell him I guess I don’t see so well, and he confesses that though his right eye is exceptionally powerful his left is disastrously weak. He used to wear one contact lens to even his vision out but found that it wrecked “the volumetric nature of space. Or something.” So he leaves the error there, lets his body conduct its own weird experiment. “Anyway, it feels more right to see this way-my way.”
I stumbled upon this article yesterday. I was completely absorbed by the magic of this designer. And then wow, was I amazed to discover the remarkable thing that we have in common: We see life in exactly the same way. Literally, I have the exact same eyesight issues as he does.
Interestingly, just before I sat down to read this, I commented to my husband about the unique winter light outside the window. It was a beautiful orange glow that set off the snow against the oak branches. A combination of season, lunar cycle, and street lighting.
The article also has one of his employees referring to his ‘extreme “ADD-like” energy’. A compulsive exploration and respect for materials, constantly launching new projects, a mishmash of career potentials… This is someone I can identify with. Now I just have some catching-up to do in terms of accomplishment.