Art Reveal Magazine no. 34

Page 6


Art Reveal Magazine


FACE TO FACE By Lula Valletta

Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. Oscar Wilde uttered these famous words many years ago and still it seems as contemporary today as ever before since photographers not just take photographs, they paint with light and feeling.

It’s Thursday afternoon and I am at Amsterdam Amstel Station. In this place, which is constantly pressured by time and the passing of thousands of faces, I cannot think of a better location for the now opening exhibition Face Time, which is part of the project ‘Identity in Society’ for the foundation Kunst en Cultuur in Beweging (Art and Culture on the Move) in collaboration with the NS (Dutch National Railway). Amidst rushing crowds and individuals, a group of flamboyant art lovers, models, photographers and curious visitors – most of whom are already slightly aroused by their intake of new art and prosecco – is gathered around a stomping flamenco dancer and her musical companion, amidst pillars showcasing works both from the past and the present. I find myself swirling among the crowd, appreciating the setting and the art and stumble upon curator Hedy van Erp.

photo: H.J. Kamerbeek

The exhibition Face Time carries the subtitle ‘your perception of me is a reflection of you’ and reflects the importance of reflection on a society in which people respect the ones who deviate from the norm. Hedy van Erp explains how this exhibition was born; in Face Time six photographers respond to six paintings by famous painters from six museum collections. The new generation portraitists are challenged to connect the old and the new, and to build a bridge between artwork and people. The curator asked six significant museums in the Netherlands to make a selection of 3 or 4 portrait paintings from their collection. This selection was then again proposed to the photographers, who were asked to pick only one of the portraits to recapture the painting in a modern setting. The photographers had all the freedom to do this in their own way. As different as each of the photographs is, their own voice on social