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Artists have been painting with light since the 19th century, including Picasso and Matisse who tried their hands at it in 1949. But contemporary light painters like France’s Jadikan are taking the art form into new territories. His relatively simple technique, a combination of long exposure photography and performance, enables him to bring abandoned places in Paris and beyond to life without Photoshop or any other kind of computer trickery.
For those who aren’t so hot on the mental maths, 464 seconds is just under eight minutes — otherwise known as the time it takes to fill a dark, abandoned building with light.
This was taken at Hangar Y in Meudon. Constructed for the 1878 Exposition Universelle, this airship hangar is the oldest of its kind and possesses a rich history, both in terms of aviation and art. Renard and Arthur Krebs built La France, the first closed-circuit aircraft, here in 1884 and Marc Chagall used it 80 years later to assemble his Opéra Garnier ceiling.
This surreal, somewhat unsettling image was created in just over one minute.
This light painting speaks to the street art of Djalouz and the work also appears on the cover of Jadikan’s book.
A parking lot behind a warehouse is transformed by a Catherine wheel of light.
This drawing class in an old fire station in Paris has been given an electric charge.
Swayambhunath temple in Kathmandu, Nepal, is captured here with a globe of light. The traditional flags had been removed to facilitate the recovering of the stupa with gold leaf, a task which is completed every hundred years.
This is the first in a series of artworks created at the Piscine Molitor in the 16th arrondissement of Paris.
The Art Deco swimming pool and hotel were the ultimate Parisian hangout during the 1930s and ‘40s (the bikini made its first appearance here in 1946) but it slowly fell into disrepair and was closed in 1989.
Since these photographs were taken, it has been completely refurbished and is again one of Paris’ most glamorous destinations.
Jadikan traveled to Miami Beach, Florida, to take this shot of a lifeguard house at 35th Street.
This incredible image of the Pyramide du Louvre in Paris was taken at 3 o’clock in the morning when the artist was sure he wouldn’t be disturbed by a passing guard.
This wonderfully spooky picture was taken at an abandoned carpentry workshop.
This is another shot from the ‘RGB Experiments-2012’ series.
On the rooftop of a vacant building in Miami Beach, a man appears to be in the sights of a few dozen snipers.
A trail of light into the metro station at Place de la Concorde in Paris.
This gorgeous, wintry shot was taken inside a drained dam.
Inside an old dam installation near the Lac de Chambon in Isère.
Another industrial location, this time in Lancey, close to Grenoble.
You can find more of Jadikan’s work on his website and experience his amazing 360-degree pictures, which are best when viewed on a smartphone or better yet with a Google Cardboard or similar headset.
Jadikan’s current exhibition at the Maison Bergès — Musée de la Houille Blanche entitled Chorégraphies Nocturnes is on until October 1, 2017.