Art

“Oil Spill”

In “Oil Spill” artist Fabian Oefner explores the shapes and colors of oil floating atop water. An old adage tells us that oil and water don’t mix, but this is not perfectly true. Especially in low concentrations, oil can mix slightly with water, which is why the edges of Oefner’s creations become fuzzy and break down. For the most part, though, the thin layer of oil spreads across the water’s surface, its slight variations in thickness casting the different iridescent colors we observe – just the same as a soap bubble’s iridescence. The colorful patterns are a snapshot of motion in the oil; in some places it radiates outward, pulled by the stronger surface tension of water. In other places it forms plumes and swirls that may be the result of temperature variations or other disquiet motion in the surrounding water or air.  (Image credits: F. Oefner)

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