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“Photon/s” casts a brilliant light on Charlotte, blending the ethereal dance of light and energy through groundbreaking sculptural forms in a public art installation that showcases the fusion of art, science, and technology.


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Ivan Toth Depeña, an artist with a profound foundation in art, architecture, technology, and design, has continuously pushed the boundaries of traditional art forms through his innovative integration of various media. With over two decades of experience and education, including a Master’s Degree in Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Depeña’s artistic production is informed by his extensive background. His work, which ranges from hand drawings to high-tech interactive light installations, is featured in both public and private collections across the globe. Having lived and worked in Charlotte, NC, Miami, FL, and New York, NY, Depeña has established himself as a significant figure in the art world, exhibiting nationally and internationally and completing large-scale public commissions.

Depeña’s contributions to the realm of public art have not gone unnoticed. He has been honored with the Public Art of the Year award for various projects by Americans for the Arts and the Public Art Network. His ambitious augmented reality public art project “Lapse,” funded by a prestigious Knight Arts Challenge Miami Grant, along with his nomination for the United States Artist grant in 2017, underscore his commitment to innovative art practices that engage and inspire the public.



His latest endeavor, Photon/s, is a captivating public art installation in downtown Charlotte, NC, commissioned by Duke Energy for their new headquarters. This concept-driven installation embodies Depeña’s signature fusion of art, science, and technology. Inspired by the microscopic elementary particle of light, Photon/s is a testament to the dynamic and ethereal nature of light. The installation features two massive sculptures and a four-story illuminated facade panel, each sculpture extending towards the sky with intricate armatures that radiate outward. These armatures are topped with mesmerizing light points crafted from blinking LED endpoints, encapsulated in solid, frosted acrylic extrusions, creating a spectacle that mimics the dance of fast-moving photons. The facade panel connects these sculptures against the Duke Energy headquarters building, symbolizing the company’s contributions to the city and its vibrant cultural scene.

Through Photon/s, Depeña explores the complexity of urban spaces and the quiet profundity of nature, drawing upon environmental mechanics and biomimicry to inform his work. This approach allows him to create art that is not only sensorial and immersive but also deeply rooted in conceptual underpinnings. By invoking the inherent designs and processes of nature, Depeña’s work encourages viewers to contemplate the intrinsic connections between space, memory, and perception, offering a unique perspective that transcends traditional art forms and invites a universal interpretation.

Ivan Toth Depeña’s work, especially with the unveiling of Photon/s, stands as a powerful example of how art can transform public spaces, provoke thought, and connect individuals to the larger cosmos of science, technology, and the natural world.


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