Thursday, December 04, 2008

About Face

Rupert Shrive's art is an undoing of something that's already been done. He paints portraits, or copies of familiar works from the annals of art history on brown paper and then crinkles, crumples, and crushes them. Sometimes he shoves the finished paintings into ceramic sea shells or cracked ostrich eggs, or bursts them through a broken wall, making them look like emerging life forms. There's enough glamour in his pieces to make the damage an appealing contrast to the prettiness that somehow still sticks around. They remind me of a perfectly made-up face that is just begging for a smudging. 

Shrive's damaged goods are on display at Orel Art Gallery in Paris through December 20th. Do a little desktop traveling and check out the gallery's website. It'll definitely save you on airfare.

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