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When I first came to New York and made my home here in the mid-1980's, I eagerly started visiting art galleries, especially those that showed photography, in the city. Soho was the focal point for the gallery scene at that time, but a decade later Chelsea area emerged as the center where new galleries were opening by the day and old Soho galleries had started to move as well.
Apart from seeing great, and often not-so-great, art, I began to notice that these new spaces in Chelsea had wide glass windows through which light often flooded the interior and lit up the walls, no doubt enlivening the artworks significantly, for arguably, seeing art in natural daylight is the best way to appreciate it. But one day, browsing in a small gallery, I became aware of a window with a blind to shut out the intense afternoon light. The side edges of the blind, however, not only let some light in that created sharp lines on the wall inside; the edges also became lines of pure light in themselves.
From then on I started to pay attention to what I began to call “gallery light” whenever I went out on my round of art galleries. I was fascinated by how light entered the gallery like a visitor itself, hidden in plain sight, how it lay on the floor or climbed the walls, making different patterns depending on the time of the day. Many a time I felt that the best thing to see in the gallery was not the artworks on the walls; it was the light coming in through the window.
I began to notice and photograph similar light patterns in other kinds of buildings I visited, often in foreign lands: temples, churches and mosques; libraries and museums; even homes of friends and family that had art works lit up by natural window light.
The result is this book.
Originally from India, Arvind Garg moved to the United States in 1976. Since 1985 he has lived and worked as a fine art photographer in New York City. India and America remain of special significance to him, but Arvind sees himself a citizen of the world, so he likes to travel and visit and photograph as many places as his means allow him. For many years in the 1980s and 1990s he worked as a freelance photographer for the Sunday Travel Section of the New York Times which gave him the opportunity to photograph in many countries across the globe. Arvind's images are in the permanent collections of the New York Public Library, the Brooklyn Museum, Herbert Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Madison Art Center, Wisconsin, the Historical Society of Wisconsin, as well as in several corporate and private art collections. Arvind is a contributing member of Corbis and Getty Images photo agencies.