Appropriation of Portraiture

This is post is not about still life, but I feel it relates to what I am doing because these photographers have re-created old paintings for their work, similarly to how I plan to imitate the classic still life art style within mine.

Hiroshi Sugimoto

HENRY VIII and ANNE BOLEYN, 1999 – Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Sugimoto used wax figures to recreate original paintings from which they were modelled from.

Below is a photograph by Sugimoto which is a recreation of Johannes Vermeer’s 1660 painting of the same name. The two images are not exactly the same, in Sugimoto’s the stringed instrument is not in the photo, and neither is the chair or jug. The man is also not obscured by the table as he is in Vermeer’s. The most interesting difference is that Sugimoto has left his tripod’s reflection in the mirror above the woman- a sign he wants people to know that it is a photo. If it weren’t for the tripod, I think people may dismiss this image as a painting.

The Music Lesson, Hiroshi Sugimoto, 1999

Below is the original by Johannes Vermeer.

Johannes Vermeer, The Music Lesson, 1660

Interestingly, although not fact, it is thought that this painting was done with the aid of a camera obscura. This could indicate why Sugimoto allowed his tripod to be seen- to fully imitate the process of capturing the image.

Cindy Sherman, History Portraits

Within this series, Sherman uses props and prosthetics in order to imitate portraits by famous historical artists. However, there is some sort of crudity within these portraits because Sherman uses fake-looking prosthetics (the breasts and belly) and garish props, such as the  purple armband.

Untitled, Cindy Sherman, 1989

La Fornarina, Raphael c.1518

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