Distinctive crystals are named for the recognizable shapes they possess, for form is as fundamental to fine minerals as it is to sculpture. Whether it’s the way a twisting curve suggests movement, or the geometry of a single stoic crystal gesturing skyward, it is their design that we connect with instinctively. The remarkable specimens in Silhouette are alike in this quality, the ability of their contours to captivate sets them apart.
Evan D’Arpino’s conceptual photography for Silhouette uses abstraction to emphasize form. In the images, vellum sheets placed in front of crystal specimens minimize some of their most significant features, such as color, luster, and transparency. Though the edges of the specimens are blurred, an overall sense of their outlines remain, leaving form as the crystals’ defining characteristic. Through this diffusion, D'Arpino also highlights specific aspects of the minerals. Since cameras can only focus on a flat plane, the elasticity of the translucent vellum sheets allows for unconventional points of focus which cannot be achieved through traditional photography techniques.
D’Arpino’s process results in otherworldly figures that not only highlight the minerals’ shape, but also provide a sense of wonder, mystery, and adventure. Many of the veiled crystals appear as though they are emerging from a primordial aether, or are gesturing to be followed into a mysterious void. Others evoke cloud-shrouded mountain peaks or futuristic fog-covered cityscapes. These apparitions dare the viewer to conjure the mineral’s true nature. Through this visual transformation, D’Arpino’s work exists in a space between imagination and reality, both documenting the specimen while leaving open limitless possibilities to their true state of being.