If you look at Philip Barlow’s paintings for the first time, you might think there’s something wrong with your eyes. But don’t worry, it’s not you – it’s the paintings.
Myopia is a very common vision problem around the world. People who suffer from it have trouble seeing objects that are placed at a distance – the farther the object is, the more blurred it will be.
That means that reading from the blackboard, seeing a friend wave from across the room, even enjoying views are all difficult, if not impossible. Most people use glasses to fix the problem, but once the glasses are off, the view gets blurred again.
That’s the feeling Barlow wanted to share with his audience. The paintings seem to display interesting scenes – friends on the beach, urban views – but you can’t really see that, because it’s all blurred. You might even have the urge to squint and focus to see the images better, just like people with myopia have to do.
But there’s still beauty in such a perspective. The unclear objects make room for us viewers to explore light, shapes, and colors without being distracted with what they represent. Take a look at some of his work – does the new perspective inspire you?