by Jeff Allen

“Any Technology that is Significantly Advanced is Indistinguishable from Magic” ... Arthur C. Clark

Even if you have some understanding on how holography works, an unexpected glance at a hologram can still catch you unaware as to the amazing magical vision you've just witnessed. For almost thirty years now I've been showing large format holograms at hundreds of events and I'm always surprised at how little the 'that's impossible' reaction has changed no matter what the viewer's age was. This still is the case even though there are billions of holograms in circulation (credit cards, driver licenses, magazine covers, etc.).

It's apparent to me that the key to unlock holography's next renaissance is now in the hands of the artists. Whether it's to capture an image (real or computer generated), sculpture (static or mixed media), composite, portrait, or movies as originals or limited editions, holography is definitely the artist's tool of the 21st Century.

Just as the artist's imagination is limitless, so are holography's capabilities. We haven't even seen the tip of the iceberg of holography's potential. The definition of holography is still being defined and it's the artist's opportunity to participate in defining its future.

How to initially approach the use of holography. Think of it in terms of an empty volumetric space or a 3-D television screen without the need of special glasses. Look into your mind's eye and then project the image, scene, setting or movie into this space. Acquire or create the sculptures, materials, accents, textures, props, etc. to materialize your vision into your setting. Not only can a hologram record all the dimensional aspects of your staged space, it can be used to produce limited editions. Depending on the size and complexity of your holograms, the costs for the holography/laser laboratory to produce them can very from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Finding an existing laboratory isn't much more difficult than finding a good bronze foundry. As always, some research and exploration (ask for references), into the laboratory's reputation and experience should be conducted.

Galleries have successfully used techniques to draw attention to selected pieces of art. Window/entrance placement, rheostat lighting, special promotions (pre-pub), etc. have proven effective. Getting the attention of the prospective collector is always a prime concern. Holograms certainly guarantee to not only get the viewers attention, but also to keep them occupied by inviting them to notice every nuance of the visual image. The old adage is "a picture is worth a thousand words". Well, a hologram is literally millions of pictures. The main question remaining is which holograms will most excite the collectors.

Though relatively new in the art market, holograms have been featured worldwide in the most prestigious museums. Quality holograms generally sell from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Holographic originals and limited editions by notable artists Dali, Nauman, and Agam have sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.


Jeff Allen is presently publishing holographic art/installations and holographic limited editions of sculptures. If there are readers with holographic art looking for exposure, Jeff has produced high profile holography shows viewed by millions of people. For further questions or information, he can be reached at