THE ARTICULATOR is an age-old architectural device which Shirley Chaitlin has adapted for use as a fine art structure.  The verb "articulate" means to integrate or join together a number of distinct things as a unified expression.  And this is precisely what an articulator does.  As an art form it is composed of two distinct works of art divided into segments and assembled in such a way as to create a third work -- clearly a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. 

The articulator, by virtue of its pleated surface, produces a number of special effects.  Foremost among these is that it is "viewer-kinetic."  That is, the picture changes with the movement of the viewer from one side to the other.  Altering lighting conditions also produces remarkable changes.  Another special quality of the articulator as an art form is that it permits the artistic unification of opposites, such as day and night, spring and autumn, near and far, front and back -- in fact, all the dualities of life which may be depicted through the medium of painting. In the hands of a master of the form the secondary reflections of the colors and shapes of the two combined paintings blend to produce a shimmering life-like radiance.

Shirley Chaitlin

The articulator, as represented here in this fine art Gallery on the Web, is the product of many years of intensive development.  Whereas it is not unusual for an accomplished artist to produce a colorful and acceptably well-done piece on a two-dimensional canvas in a brief period, an articulator requires many hours of highly-skilled crafting.  In the case of larger works, as many as ninety to a hundred parts must be meticulously hand-finished and fitted together.  Entirely apart from the actual painting of two pictures carefully designed to compliment and embellish one another, each articulator must go through a procedure involving more than forty steps to completion.  The structure is comprised of specially fabricated plastic extrusions joined by state-of-the-art adhesives, to an archival standard designed to last for generations.

The only way to really appreciate an articulator, however, is to see and experience one.  Words alone cannot describe the incredible optical effects that take place as the viewer passes in front of a finished piece.  On one side one picture is viewable, but as the viewer crosses in front of the piece, observing it, he or she will notice that it changes right before his or her eyes.  The light and color dance together in such a way as to bring the articulator to life, almost as if by magic.  For those art aficionados who appreciate and treasure fine art, the experience of an articulator should not be missed.  As part of this Gallery on the Web, art lovers everywhere now have the chance to view a unique art form which previously was only viewable by those select few who patronized fine art galleries in San Francisco, New York City, Palm Springs and Beverly Hills.  Enjoy!

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