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Arts & Entertainment

Artist Edward Lightner finds beauty in nuclear explosions with 'The Underworld is My Oyster'

Edward Lightner's
Edward Lightner's "Diana Miat Mandrel," (15” x 15” framed acrylic and ink on paper with frame, 2012)

The pockmarks that sprinkle the desert at the Nevada Test Site serve as reminders of violent explosions, the scars of underground nuclear tests carried out by the US Military. But look close enough and you might find some beauty in these craters and the patterns that ripple in the sand. 


In his new exploration of nuclear explosion imagery,  "The Underworld is My Oyster," artist Edward Lightner presents acrylic, ink and mixed media works that uncover the beauty hidden in the underground test craters left behind in the Nevada desert. In the process of creating these works, Lightner uses satellite imagery, a kaleidoscope computer program and contour readings. Lightner looks at what colors naturally surround the test site to determine his palate -- whether it's bright wildflowers or stark snow. He ends up with polychromatic, sometimes psychedelic works that depict the intricate patterns left behind in the dirt.

Wolverine Storax, 12” x 12” x 1½” acrylic, opaque marker, glitter on canvas, 2011

Wolverine Storax  (12” x 12” x 1½” acrylic, opaque marker, glitter on canvas, 2011)

Edward Lightner's "The Underworld is My Oyster" runs through October 5 at L2kontemporary in Chinatown. Artist's reception is Saturday, September 14, 7 - 10 pm.