Ghost Faces of the Lake


Reston, United States

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  • Artist


Artist's Description

I live near the Lake Anne Village Center in Reston, VA. The village center was established in 1964, and is surround by some interesting lights. I always imagined the the lights were of a style that people in 1964 imagined “modern” would be.

I have spent a lot of time walking around Lake Anne. A couple of years ago, I noticed that the sometimes the bulbs in these lights would burn out, and it would look almost like a face. The first one I saw was smiling, but as I began to look more closely, I saw some that were frowning, some that were scolding, and some that seemed indifferent.

What I found most fascinating about the faces was their temporary nature. As the lightbulbs burn out or are replaced, the face changes or disappears altogther. One of my favorite stern face had it lightbulbs changed. Now, it is no longer a face – just a “modern” light fixture. In some ways, the ghost faces seemed to be an apt metaphor for life in general.

I started trying to capture the faces. My first attempt was with photography. But I could never quite capture the essence. Then I tried painting, but, alas, it will be some time before my hands will be able to match the picture I have in my mind. I also created a small, iconic representation of the lights, which I actually kind of like. It almost looks like a post card – that is what is uploaded here.

After my first attempt to paint a face (which is included in this collection), I showed the painting to my 5 year old son. I asked him what it looked like. He said, “Cool. It’s a ghost face.” That’s when I knew what I had discovered – The Ghost Faces of Lake Anne. It is amazing that sometimes you have to look to a child to bring certain thoughts into focus.

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