Sunlight art: Everything you need to know before you buy sunlight artwork

Michael Papadakis working on his sunlight artwork

What do you get when you combine a wooden canvas, magnifying glass, and the sun? You get sunlight art. No, I am not joking. It really is an art form that is pretty popular these days.

Many people are looking to decorate their homes with sunlight artwork. But before you make that first purchase, get to know everything about this art form. This will help you wow guests in your home.

Sunlight art
Sunlight art. Source: Ellines

Who discovered sunlight artwork?

The man credited with all the plaudits for sunlight art is Michael Papadakis.

It all started in 2012 for Michael Papadakis when he began his journey through Central Asia. It was on this journey he figured out the science involved with magnifying glass and sunlight.

Michael Papadakis working on his sunlight artwork
Michael Papadakis working on his sunlight artwork

So, with a magnifying glass in one hand and a piece of wood in the other, he moved all over the part of the world which is famously known as the ‘Silk Road’. Throughout this journey, he made sunlight art of people and for people, he met along the way. He did this for 14 months.

He shared his works and made them a phenomenon. He famously calls this kind of art as Heliography.

There is a cult following and a growing interest in this kind of art both in terms of artists who want to pursue this and also buyers willing to buy this.

A sign of a healthy market.

Here is his Instagram profile and his company – sun scribe solar printing.

Famous quote by Michael Papadakis

“I wanted to be an Artist and a Traveller, but I didn’t want to carry all the weight in my pack.”

Michael Papadakis

What is the science behind sunlight art?

Sunlight artwork is the result of applying the pure science we learned in our schools. It is simply directly the sun’s rays to certain points on a wooden canvas using a magnifying glass.

The science behind this is simple. When you place a magnifying glass in the path of the sunlight, the double convex lens present in the glass combines all the rays falling on one side to come out as a single beam of ray and heat out the other side.

This single ray is literally like a light saber and is extremely hot. Focusing this ray on a place or an object can cause it to light up or burn.

You can even try this out in your own backyard. Get a magnifying glass and go to your backyard when it is quite sunny outside. Pack a bunch of twigs or leaves on the ground. Take your magnifying glass and place it in the path of sunlight and focus the center of your glass on the pack of twigs and leaves.

In about 50 – 60 seconds it should catch fire.

What is the value of a sunlight artwork?

As with any artwork, the value depends more on the artist than on the art itself. A sunlight artwork made by Michael Papadakis could well be a few thousands of dollars, even tens of thousands. But the same art created by me would struggle to fetch even a hundred.

With that said, there are not many artists who practice this regularly. Based on social media trends and comments, we can get an idea that there is a growing market for this kind of art.

So this could be a unique opportunity for you to take up this art form if you are interested in learning it.

Famous sunlight artists

We have already discussed Michael Papadakis. Apart from that, there are not many artists known for their sunlight artwork.

One person who comes close is a guy named Vignesh, from Tamil Nadu, India. It is so hot in that place, that it is no wonder that someone decided to make use of the abundance of sunlight in that area.

He became famous when he made a sunlight art of Cobie who is an expert on crypto. His work was shared by Cobie and it took off.

Since then he has also been featured by BBC. He has also multiple NFTs of his artwork.

Here is Vignesh’s Twitter profile.

Read more about other forms of art here.

Adithya V

I have an innate interest in art and I am starting this blog to document some of the amazing things I learned. I would segregate my content in chronological order which would make sense for any beginner to read and make sense of it all.

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