The multi-dimensionality of this painting creates a dynamic experience. When viewed from the sides, new shapes and images appear which add another dimension to the painting. The painting utilizes mirrors in two ways. The “shattered” mirrors reflect the motion of the viewers’ own image as they move around the painting. A curved mirror, not directly apparent to the viewer, serves to distort the image that is reflected in it.
Additionally, the mirrors introduce a play between direct and reflected images. Although several colored lines appear to run continuously across the top of the painting in the front view, the images inside the rectangle are actually a reflection, whereas those on the both sides of the rectangle are painted representations of Hubble images of nebulae. In this way, the continuum runs linearly through different interpretations of what the human eye actually sees (i.e., images seen through a mirror and through a telescope). These features challenge the traditional approach to composition and visualizing space.
The hourglass shape of the nebula could serve as a metaphor to remind us that time might be running out for us on earth, even if space and time itself continue forever. It is a cosmic wake-up call.