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Looking Glass by Burke Long

Updated: Sep 6, 2019

Digital photograph, ink jet print on archival paper.

Dimensions: 18" x 24"

Art Creation: Several years ago, while making pictures in Chicago’s 19th century Fine Arts Building, I noticed a series of closed doors, each one fitted in its top half with decorative, etched glass. Light streaming from interior space behind one door set off floral patterns in bold, yet delicately transparent relief. This unexpected discovery inspired a mostly studio based project to create abstract digital art from photographs of many types of glass—etched, smooth, cracked, broken, intact, twirled into shapely vessels, saturated with swirls of color. By disguising the material and functional aspects of glass, manipulating tones of light and shadow, and using computer processing, I create abstract designs that have surface texture, energy, and layered dimensionality.

“Looking Glass” is a part of this ongoing project. It began life as a photograph of a portion of a cylindrical, crinkled glass vase which he had stuffed with colored tissue paper. The resulting image struck me as somewhat mysterious, which led me to add the haunting female face/eye now peering out (or reflecting someone looking in, as though in a mirror). The face originally belonged to a photograph I made of a partially intact advertising poster on which remnants of this woman’s face were still visible.

The Artist: Burke Long studied photography at the Maine College of Art. He regularly shows his work in the juried Maine Photography Show. “For the Love of Glass”, a solo exhibition, appeared in 2018 at the Maine Film Center in Waterville.

His photographs may be viewed at

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