An exhibition at the Getty unleashes the dynamic character of Holbein’s portraits in ways I’ve never seen before.
The peculiarities of pregnancy in art, from corsets to belly pads and hidden bumps.
A huge, distorted skull appears like a slash across Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1533 “The Ambassadors,” and it’s only when viewed from an angle that the death’s head emerges from the painting in three dimensions. It’s one of the most famous uses of anamorphosis, but how to communicate this unique omen of impending mortality in a more personal way?
A towering nude man greets every visitor to Sperone Westwater gallery on the Lower East Side. This ten foot tall figure, also known as “Jim Revisited”, made in 2011, looks so realistic that it stops nearly everyone dead in their tracks upon entering the gallery. The people-watching is great as viewers trade surprised glances and funny comments, all while staring wide open with disbelieving eyes. This is the type of art that boggles the mind; it provokes the question of how the hell the artist pulled it off. Rattling off the list of banal materials — silicone, pigment, hair, aluminum and fabric — does little to capture the convincing illusion that artist Evan Penny conjures, but it does testify to his deft artistic mind that achieves much more than most with these materials.