We always find it interesting when artists figuratively blur the lines of media, and in this case literally. The work of South African artist Philip Barlow appears to be one thing but is actually another, and we are utterly intrigued. What looks like beautifully composed out-of-focus photographs are actually masterfully created oil paintings. Barlow focuses (no pun intended) on the interaction of light with his subjects, and the results are quite stunning. In his own words, “The figures in the landscape serve as carriers and reflectors of the light that falls upon them. Bathed in the luminosity, it is my hope that they would become more beautiful. To me, light is the ultimate subject because it embodies the pinnacle of all reality.” In works where the details are not at all sharp, we are taken with Barlow’s astounding attention to detail. The soft edges and bokeh effect are quite beautiful, and Barlow’s deep understanding of color is an artistic revelation. We are in awe.