The McLoughlin Gallery is pleased to present “Illusionary Reality, a two-person exhibition featuring Colin McRae and Olivier Haligon Works on view May 4 – June 10, 2017.

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.

( Albert Einstein)

Illusionary Reality is a two-person exhibition, features the work of Olivier Haligon and Colin McRae. Both of these artists explore the blurred distinction between reality and illusion. A concept studied by many, from Albert Einstein, to F. Scott Fitzgerald in the Great Gatsby, to cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman.

The exhibition will be on display at The McLoughlin Gallery May 4 –June 10, 2017. Berkeley-based artist Colin McRae has been documenting the ever-changing landscape of the Bay Area tidelands and salt flats from the open door of a helicopter 500 to 4,000 ft. for the last 20 years. Although a sublime, unusual, and abstract documentation of the landscape, McRae’s images evoke undertones of the massive water collection and discharge system, pumping billions of gallons of water daily using its tides and tributaries as engines.

The interplay between the seawater, the elements, and the fabricated salt ponds is where the magic, captured by McRae, unfolds. Vibrant colors, ranging from deep red to chartreuse, are the result of algae, brine shrimp, and the salinity of the water. As the water recedes, streams, rivulets, mud, rock, scars, and debris become visible along the shoreline with unusual light reflections and color changes. Olivier Haligon comes from a long line of artists and renowned fabricators leaving Paris to establish himself in Miami. Haligon is fascinated by the possibilities of movement in art -Its potential to create new and more interactive relationships with the viewer and new visual experiences.

In Haligon'swork, movement is linked to presence, in most instances to the body itself. Layers of curved and manipulated sheet metal are configured with the optical kinesis generated by the observer's motion. Incorporating light into the work, the dialogue with the viewer makes the artwork come alive: shifting, flowing, and protruding from the surface. Like with Op Art, new, disorientating visual experiences are created when interacting with the work enabling an escape from reality.