With the lights off, Italian artist Fabrizio Corneli's work looks like pretty but unspectacular—just metal boxes and scraps. But with the flip of a switch, a whole new world of light emerges. His sculptures are cut with a mathematical precision so that light spills out in beautiful, unexpected forms.

In this piece below called Iperboreo—Italian for Hyperborea—a copper box with a halogen lamp hidden inside transforms into a fireball held in the lands of a spectral, otherworldly figure.

Corneli's outdoor installations also play off of light, but this time it's the shifting natural rays of the sun. As the sun moves across the sky, a face appears and then disappears. This one is called Augenblick, German for "moment" or, literally, a glance of the eye.

In our ordinary lives, light leaks out from windows and door cracks, spilling out uncontrollably into the dark. In the hands of a skilled artist, light becomes a precise, malleable medium that gives unexpected life to ordinary-looking objects. See more of Corneli's work at his website. [Fabrizio Corneli via My Modern Met]