Charles Atlas – Painting by Numbers at SIA

I took a visit to SIA in Cantor Building at Sheffield Hallam University yesterday, to view Charles Atlas’,  Painting by Numbers, 2011. This is exhibited as part of Art Sheffield 2016- up, down, top, bottom, strange and charm.

Clip of Atlas’, Painting by Numbers, 2011 – Art Sheffield 2016. Video above taken by myself
Charles Atlas is a New York Based artist and a pioneering figure of film and video for over four decades now. His 2011 video installation Painting by Numbers is described by Art Sheffield as an immersive experience, where the viewer sees ‘digital numbers, that appear in beautiful swarming patterns, like particles of matter, constellations or code, vibrating through space’


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I was drawn to this piece from it’s use of text/numbers and as my current practice is also text based it was only natural to want to view it. I too found the work very immersive, the projection spanning 3 walls surrounds your peripheral view and the numbers become invasive. The way the numbers count down continuously and form patterns that resemble stars and DNA, to me it felt like an impending countdown. I related it to my fear of death, and counting down the possible days, months, years until that last day, so I found the piece really captivating. I liked how forceful the installation was, pushing the falling numbers in your face, it resonated with me the little amount of time we have on earth. This is a fantastic piece of work, and I related it to my own work with how it address an end, and how frequent the numbers end and start again, I love how the piece make you quite anxious in how it’s unstoppable, I feel very inspired by this piece.

Another clip of Atlas’ piece Exhibited at SIA for Art Sheffield 2016, Video taken by Myself.
Charles Atlas –



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