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Why Is a Giant Rainbow Horseman Invading Montreal?

In order to explore issues surrounding surveillance, artist David Spriggs has individually-painted and layered film strips to create the thermal image of a man riding on horseback.
February 17, 2015, 7:30pm
David Spriggs, Regisole (Sun King). 2015. 

189" x 73" x 227". Acrylic paint on 96 sheets of layered transparent film, springs, t-bars, lighting. Digital modeling by Ian Spriggs. __Screencaps via

At first, David Spriggs' Regisole (Sun King) just looks like a blur of color hanging from the ceiling of Arsenal Montreal, but a simple shift in perspective illuminates its true nature: like Dustin Yellin's "window sandwiches" and Charles Kaisin's golden origami goat, the installation features a swarm of tiny pieces that make up the body of a massive whole. Hand-drawn acrylic paintings on 96 translucent acetate sheets act as minute cells, composing the military-grade thermal image of a man on horseback.

The giant rainbow horseman is just one of the works on display at Spriggs' new solo show, PRISM, a nine-part exhibition whose title references both the light-bending glassware and the name of the NSA's surveillance program. The show brings together Spriggs' experiments with panoptic architecture, video surveillance, and digital scanners, in order to "speak of modern surveillance, color, and symbols of power," according to the museum's description page. "Spriggs exposes the relationship between optics and mechanisms of surveillance that are omnipresent aspects of contemporary life," it explains.

Ride into the sunset (or a CCTV camera) with Regisole (Sun King), below:

_PRISM _will be on display at Arsenal Montreal from January 30 to May 9, 2015. Visit David Spriggs' website to learn more.


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