Elizabeth Kleinveld & E Paul Julien
E2 PORTRAITS Q4 2013
Kleinveld & Julien’s E2 concept While working together on the Before During After project (Louisiana Photographer’s Respond to Hurricane Katrina), photographers Kleinveld & Julien decided to embark on a new body of work in response to the inequalities which were exposed during Hurricane Katrina but have yet to be fully addressed. Kleinveld & Julien, both from New Orleans and working under the artist name (E2), aim to bring about a discussion on the consequences of stereotypes and how they can lead to prejudice and discrimination. In order to bring about this dialogue, E2 decided to take iconic images from paintings, photography, film and even literature and remake them with a twist. Beginning with the Flemish Primitives and spanning almost 600 years of art history, this series is done in conjunction with the Dutch National Theatre, which generously provides many of the costumes, wigs and props for the historical images. Highlights of the series include works based on the following artists: van Eyck, Botticelli, Raphael, Titian, Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough, Fragonard, David, and Manet. E2 has also developed a coat of arms, playing with the traditional symbol of the aristocracy and giving it a completely new meaning. E2’s coat has their logo in the middle with the fleur de lis on top (which stands for New Orleans), two pelicans on either side (the symbol of Louisiana) and a ribbon gracing the shield, with the phrase: In Empathy We Trust. This idea came about after they were inspired by the work of Claire du Duras, who wrote Ourika in 1824. This novella was one of the first times in history that a writer tried to put themselves in the shoes of someone from another race or culture. E2 hopes that their work will ask the viewer to do the same.
Ode to van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self-Portrait?) Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self-Portrait?), 1433 Collection of The National Gallery, London As the Middle Ages came to a close, Jan van Eyck brought about an artistic revolution. As a young man, the prevailing artistic style was International Gothic, otherwise known as the Beautiful Style. While this style was very elegant, it lacked the depth and three-dimensionality for which Van Eyck is known. In the past making distinction between different objects was usual shown with color, yet Van Eyck’s style enabled the viewer to identify objects according to their physical properties. For example, fabrics looked soft, metal appeared hard and skin seemed almost tangible. Van Eyck’s ability to paint tiny objects as well as distant scenes was so unique because of his use of light and reflection. Although many credit Van Eyck as the founder of oil painting, this is not true. Oil painting had been around for some time, since painters were using it to emulate the effect of enameling as they built up layers of thin and translucent paint. The ability to layer allowed Van Eyck to create complex shadows, creating lighting patterns as they appear in nature. Indeed, Van Eyck’s work looked so real that one critic noted that it lacked, ‘only a voice.’ This work, often called Portrait of a Man in a Turban, is thought to be a self-portrait. While there is no direct evidence for this, the sitter’s dress is appropriate for a man of Van Eyck’s position. While the headdress is actually a chaperon, which has the ends hanging down, it would have been sensible to tie them up while he was painting. E Paul Julien of E2 portrays Van Eyck in this self-portrait. The original work, which hangs at the National Gallery, is framed in its original frame. At the top there’s a motto in Greek, which reads, “I do as I can.” This motto appears in other of Van Eyck’s paintings. At the bottom is inscribed, “Jan Van Eyck made me on October 21st, 1433.” E Paul Julien of E2 portrays Van Eyck in this self-portrait.
Ode to Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage, 1434 Collection of The National Gallery, London The Northern Renaissance, ushered in by Jan van Eyck, replaced the Beautiful Style, which had dominated European art until 1425. Van Eyck popularized the use of oil painting. Tempera, which had been the traditional source for painters until that time, dried more quickly and did not allow for the brilliance of color or delicate nuances that layering with (wet) oil paint enables. While not the first to employ this new technique, van Eyck’s use of the medium took it to new heights, allowing for complex shadows and lighting to appear as it does in nature. His work looked so real that one critic noted that it lacked, ‘only a voice.’ Van Eyck is first recorded in 1422 as working for the Count of Holland, John of Bavaria in The Hague. Van Eyck moved to Bruges to work for the Duke of Burgundy, Phillip the Good, who was the Godfather to one of van Eyck’s children. Bruges was one of the principle artistic centers of Europe and it was here where van Eyck was commissioned to create the Arnolfini portrait. The work is often known as the Arnolfini Marriage and yet there is some controversy over this interpretation, as more recent scholars believe that his wife (Giovanna di Nicolao) had died in childbirth by the time this double portrait was finished in 1434. Regardless, this work is thought to be one of the first double fulllength portraits in the North. Arnolfini, a silk merchant from Tuscany, was the Medici representative in Bruges. In this work, van Eyck portrays all of Arnolfini’s wealth and power—his huge black fur hat, the lavish Anatolian rug, and the lapdog that noblewomen of the day had. As much as Van Eyck’s work displays the social status of this couple, he also tells us about the social mores of his day. Giovanna di Nicolao is looking down, in a pose of deference to her husband, a pose, which exudes a humble and pious nature. Unlike the original, E2’s “wife” does not look diminutive or submissive in the least. Indeed, she has an even greater presence than Arnolfini, one that borders on the domineering. 7
Ode to Uccello’s Portrait of a Young Man Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Ode to Uccello’s Portrait of a Young Man, 1435 Collection of Musee des Beaux-Arts, Chambery Paolo di Dono is called Uccello because of his love of animals, namely birds. Trained in the style of Ghiberti’s workshop, Uccello spent the bulk of his career in Florence. His style is distinctive of the early Renaissance and shows a wonderful mix of traditions as Uccello combined Gothic art with more realistic work, using Roman block letters to emphasize the link with ancient Roman. What does this inscription say? The end does all, meaning that if you live a good life, your soul will be judged well at the final reckoning. This was an important reminder to future generations to live a life of virtue. In trying to integrate artistic form with scientific precision, Uccello studied animals and plants rigorously. However, it was the way in which he rendered space in accordance with the mathematical rules of perspective for which he is truly known. In his day he was often seen an eccentric mathematician rather than a painter. Uccello is now admired for the power of his form, his witty imagination and coloring. But it is for his love of perspective that he will be remembered the most, for it is said, “Uccello went off his head with his love of perspective.” In E2’s rendition, Epaul Julien poses as the young man.
Ode to Van der Weyden’s Portrait of a Lady Shot in 2013 in Amsterdam Inspired by Van der Weyden’s Portrait of a Lady, 1460 Collection of the National Gallery, Washington D.C. Rogier van der Weyden is considered one of the most influential European artists of his time. Born in 1399 in Tournai, he apprenticed with Robert Campin before becoming the master of the painters’ guild in Tournai in 1432. Three years later he had moved to Brussels and by 1436 he had been appointed the city’s official painter. Van der Weyden is well known for both his portraits and religious paintings. Most of the portraits show a sitter in the three-quarter view in the bust-length size popularized by van Eyck. It has been said that Van Eyck observed things in a way that no painter had observed them before and that Rogier expressed the emotions of his subjects in such a convincing manner that no painter has replicated. Indeed, his subjects exude a bittersweet quality in an intimate manner. Rogier seems to have employed numerous assistants. His work was so popular that it was exported to Italy, France, Spain and Germany. Indeed, Van der Weyden’s work was sought after by the Este court in Ferrara, as well as the Medici’s in Florence. In Portrait of a Lady, we see a bit more of the face of the sitter than shown before in the three-quarter pose. The subject of this portrait has not yet been identified, but her aristocratic bearing is evident. Unlike the rich colors, which previously adorned aristocratic portraits, Van der Weyden chooses a dark background, which appeals to our modern taste. The somber dark colors are broken by a red accent, her red and gold waistband. Not only does the sitter’s dress show a change in fashion towards the more sober, but it also highlights her introspective mood. Her hands, which look as if they are resting on a ledge, are smaller than what would be expected for her large head. E2’s version has Chinese artist Ran Zhang posing as the lady. Even though she’s from a totally different culture than the original sitter, her ability to exude a feeling of serenity that the original work possesses is truly uncanny.
Ode to Petrus Christus’ Portrait of a Young Woman Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Petrus Christus’ Portrait of a Young Woman, ca 1468 Collection of Gemaldegalerie, Berlin Born in 1410, Christus worked in Bruges, a wealthy city ruled by the dukes of Burgundy. Petrus Christus is the only known follower of Jan van Eyck and was responsible for spreading van Eyck’s style. Known for his precise form, his play with lines, and lighting, Christus’ work can be distinguished by its extreme clarity. Like van Eyck, Christus’ portraits show the eyes of the sitter looking at the viewer. Yet what is different is the attention that is given to the space that surrounds the sitter, as can be seen in Portrait of a Young Lady, where the lines in the walls come together, which adds depth to the work. But one of the things that makes this work so compelling are the shadows on the right, giving the viewer a feeling of being part of the scene. E2 takes this traditional Flemish Primitive, and remakes it with someone from another continent, namely Asia, and yet, the subtle tension between the serene pose and intense gaze of the young woman is still present.
Ode to Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder Shot in 2012 in Verona with Fiorese. Background illustrated by Marco Ventura. Inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder, 1474 Collection of Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence. Sandro Botticelli was born in Florence in 1445. His father Mariano Filipepi found his son Alessandro so restless that he apprenticed him to a friend, a goldsmith named Botticelli. During that time, goldsmiths and painters maintained very close connections so it was not long before Sandro showed his interest in painting. Before moving on to study under Lippi in the 1460’s, Sandro had taken on Botticelli’s last name. Botticelli’s patron, Lorenzo the Magnificant, brought neo-Platonic culture to Florence at a time that is viewed as the high point of Italian Renaissance. Around the mid-fifteenth century, Numismatics, or the collecting and studying of medals and coins was a favorite interest of the nobility. Indeed, possessing a series of Roman coins showed one’s refinement and love of antiquity. Because of this, Italian nobles often commissioned medals of themselves, depicting them in a style based on the profiles of Roman emperors seen on Roman coins. These medals showed the political values of the nobles and were used as gifts for visiting dignitaries. The medal that Botticelli depicts is of Cosimo the Elder, who is considered the founder of the ruling family of Florence, the Medici. The young man who holds the medal exudes a vague sadness, which was characteristic of Florentine male portraits at that time. In this work E2 recreates the scene of Botticelli but uses the Italian Euro with Da Vinci on it instead. Botticelli might not have been to found of this move for Da Vinci was his rival and made no bones about the fact that he found Botticelli’s landscapes ‘dismal.’ The focus on the Euro alludes to the current economic crisis, especially the upheaval in Euroland. Will the stronger currencies continue to support the weaker ones? Or will the madness of the crowd take over, making stereotypes about the different European nationalities run so rampant that they ultimately lead to a destabilization of the currency? 15
Ode to Memling’s Vanity Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Hans Memling’s Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation, 1485 Collection of Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg Memling was born around Frankfurt around 1440. Despite being German, Memling is very much linked to the center of the art world in Bruges. Vasari cites that Memling was one of Rogier van der Weyden’s pupils and indeed, many of his compositions seem to have been taken from his master. Yet his talent resided in his ability to temper the intensity of van der Weyden’s style, imbuing his work with a sense of calm and balance. Van Eyck’s influence can also be seen in his work, in particular in his expression of texture, light and color. A contemporary stated of Memling that, “he was for a short while the greatest painter in the whole of Christendom.” Indeed, records in Bruges indicate that he was one of the city’s wealthiest citizens. Memling influenced the work of both local and foreign artists including Gerard David and Giovanni Bellini. In this piece, E2 focuses on the central panel of the Triptych of Earthly Vanity and Divine Salvation. The woman who appreciates her nudity in the mirror is said to represent vanity and lust. In the original triptych, she is surrounded by Death on one said and a devil on the other, warning the viewer of the consequences of giving into temptation. E2’s version has New Orleans burlesque performer May Hemmer as the sitter. Of both African and American Indian descent, May’s ability to temp the viewer in a similar way to the original sitter’s coy stance is divine.
Ode to Memling’s Diptych with the Allegory of True Love Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Hans Memling’s Diptych with the Allegory of True Love, 1485-90 Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Memling was born around Frankfurt around 1440. Despite being German, Memling is very much linked to the center of the art world in Bruges. Vasari cites that Memling was one of Rogier van der Weyden’s pupils and indeed, many of his compositions seem to have been taken from his master. Yet his talent resided in his ability to temper the intensity of van der Weyden’s style, imbuing his work with a sense of calm and balance. Van Eyck’s influence can also be seen in his work, in particular in his expression of texture, light and color. A contemporary stated of Memling that, “he was for a short while the greatest painter in the whole of Christendom.” Indeed, records in Bruges indicate that he was one of the city’s wealthiest citizens. Memling influenced the work of both local and foreign artists including Gerard David and Giovanni Bellini. This work was considered a portrait until scholars realized that it was originally accompanied by a work of the same size residing in Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The young woman is dressed in the manner of the Burgundian Court of the 1470’s and her face corresponds to Memling’s idealized female. Originally conceived as a continuous scene separated by the frame, on the left panel we see a woman holding a carnation, which symbolizes betrothal. On the right panel a grinning monkey sits upon a white horse, symbolizing the lust, selfishness and sinfulness of a bad lover only concerned with their own gratification. Next to the white horse is a brown horse, which gazes lovingly at the young woman, symbolizing devotion and faithfulness. Together the animals represent the noble and ignoble sides of man’s passion. Similar to the original piece, E2’s exaggerated body parts, an elongated neck and larger head, give this piece a feeling of discomfort, which is often present when love is unrequited.
Ode to Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière, 1490-96 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Known for his quote, “the painter is not worth praising if he is not a universal man,” Leonardo da Vinci is considered the most versatile genius of the Italian Renaissance. Having left over 3000 pages of notebook entries, showing his knowledge of a vast array of subjects including, math, geometry, engineering to anatomy, architecture, town planning and botany, da Vinci is responsible for establishing the idea of the artist as a creative thinker and not only a craftsman. Indeed, he did much to raise the status of Renaissance artists, focusing on their source of inspiration and universal genius more than their technical craftsmanship. That said it was in painting where he was able to really synthesize his knowledge. From 1482, da Vinci settled in Milan, until its capture by the French in 1499. Thereafter, he wandered for a few years before returning to Florence for a few years. He worked for many of Italy’s prominent families, including the Sforza’s, Borgia’s and de Medici’s. Annoyed by constant comparisons to Raphael and Michelangelo, who were younger than he, da Vinci accepted Francois I’s offer to move to France, where he achieved the emulation and honors that he’d been looking for. The range of gesture and expression in da Vinci’s is considered to be unprecedented. La belle Ferronière is thought to be the mistress of Francois I of France, who was married to a Le Ferron.The model for E2’s rendition is from China and is also the model for the portrait of Francois I. Please change to: The model for E2’s rendition is the Chinese artist, Ran Zhang, who is in many other works in this series.
Ode to Perugino’s Francesco delle Opere I & II (diptych) The first piece was shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese studio and the second piece was shoot in 2013 in New Orleans. Inspired by Perugino’s Francesco delle Opere, 1494 Collection of Uffizi, Florence Born Pietro Vannucci in Umbria around 1450, Perugino’s nickname is a direct reference to where he first started painting—in Perugia. Perugino’s style was formed in Florence, where according to Vasari, he studied with Verrocchio, around the same time that da Vinci was training in Verrocchio’s studio. Together with other famous painters of his day, Perugino was commissioned to paint the Sistine Chapel in Rome. Scholars still debate whether he led the team of artists or whether Botticelli did. By the 1490’s Perugino was doing so well that he had workshops in both Florence and Perugia. Even Raphael studied under Perugino but by 1505 Perugino had left Florence and gone back to Perugia. The subject of this portrait, Francesco Della Opere was a gem carver and one of Perugino’s friends. In his hand he is holding a cartouche, with the Latin words Timete Devm, which means beware of God, an allusion to Savonarola’s famous speech. His hand is resting on top of an invisible parapet, reminiscent of Hans Memling’s work. Other similarities to Memling’s work include the attention to detail, which was typical of Flemish painting during that time. Indeed, this is evidenced by the city with towers in the background on the left. That said, there is a merging with the work from Perugino’s roots, for in the background we also see small trees and a lake, marks from the Umbrian school during that period. E2 has made a diptych of this work. In the first piece the sitter is Florentine artist Luigi Petracchi. In version II, E2’s Epaul Julien is the sitter.
Ode to de Barbari’s Portrait of Luca Pacioli and a young unknown Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese studio (models are Florentine artist Luigi Petracchi and Bologna artist Grelo of the Bongiovanni Gallery) Inspired by Jacopo de Barbari’s Portrait of Luca Pacioli and a young unknown ca. 1495-1500, Collection of di Capodimonte, Naples Di Barbari was born in Venice and worked as a painter and printmaker in Germany and the Netherlands, where he died. De Barbari’s engravings helped spread the Italian concept of the nude to Northern Europe. Luca Pacioli was a Franciscan friar well-known for his mathematical genius. The rubicon in the left corner of the painting is said to be the first one that was ever drawn. Indeed Pacioli thought that he had discovered this form, although Archimedes had really discovered it. Some interpretations of this work, say that it is a self-portrait with Albrecht Durer, who was known for his study of proportions. In fact, Pacioli coined the term the divine proportion in his book published in 1509 with the same title. This book was very influential and helped to spread knowledge of geometry. Pacioli’s friend, Leonardo da Vinci, illustrated the book. E2’s version has two artists from Galleria Bongiovanni in Bologna, namely Grelo and Luigi Petracchi, who is pointing to a passage from Museum Castelvecchio’s Collection. On the left, Petracchi uses a pointer to draw our attention to an advertisement for Zeiss Ikon camera from 1937. Grelo is situated behind him. Instead of a wooden rubicon, we’ve placed a prop which has a Dali-like quality, an eye on a spring, on the table before him. Both the Zeiss Ikon ad and the eye were props we found during the shoot at Mauro Fiorese’s studio in Verona.
Ode to the Master of Frankfurt’s Self-Portrait with his Wife Shot in 2013 in Amsterdam Inspired by the Meester van Frankfurt’s Self-Portrait with his Wife, 1496 Collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp The origins and identity of the Master of Frankfurt are not certain. While it was originally believed that he came from Frankfurt, it is now thought that he was from modern Belgium and had patrons in Frankfurt. The Master of Frankfurt is the name that Heinrich Weizsacker gave to identify the artist who made two altarpieces for clients in Frankfurt. His work shows stylistic similarity with the work of both Hugo van der Goes and Rogier van der Weyden. Most scholars now believe him to be Hendrik van Wueluwe, who was active in Antwerp between 1480 and 1518. In fact, van Wueluwe was the Dean of the famous artist guild, the Guild of Saint Luke, for six terms. In fact, in the work The Altarpiece of the relationship of the Holy Virgin, you see the same face that is present in other work that was made in Antwerp. Two of these works can be found in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, The Festival of the Archers and The Portrait of the Artist and his Wife, which shows the shield of the Guild of Saint Luke. In this double portrait, dated in 1496, the artist writes his age and that of his wife in the frame. He is said to be 36 years old and she is 27 years old, hence we surmise that he was born in 1460. The table is frugally laid with bread, a plate of cherries, two cups and a vase of flowers. The painter exudes a pleased bearing as his wife presents him with a small violet. While his arm is wrapped around his wife’s waist, he looks out of the painting, as if he is trying to engage the viewer. In addition, the life-size flies, called trompe l’oeil flies, were put into paintings as part of a larger religious belief of that time in which all of God’s creatures, including ones as small as flies, were seen to represent the goodness of God. This artist portrait is one of the earliest double portraits in a single frame in the Netherlands and was first reported to be in the possession of Margaret of Austria as of 1516. E2 remakes this work with two artists who were in residency at the Rijksakademie in 2012, one from Germany, Philipp Kremer and the other from China, Ran Zhang.
Ode to Albrecht Dürer’s Self-portrait, 1496 Shot in 2013 in Amsterdam Inspired by Albrecht Dürer’s Self-Portrait, 1496 Collection of the Prado, Madrid Albrecht Dürer is seen not only as one of the most important artists of the European Renaissance but also as one of the primary intellectuals. Dürer who grew up in Nuremberg was obsessed with precision and his search for beauty is at the center of his work. He even does this by investigating his own temperament. Dürer, whose father was a goldsmith, also apprenticed to be a goldsmith and painter. Yet by the time he was 15, his talent for painting was evident and he apprenticed with the most important painter in Nuremberg in 1486. After a few years of training, Dürer traveled North of the Alps to Basel where he worked as an illustrator. He returned to Nuremberg at 23 to marry, yet three months after his return the plague broke out so he traveled to Italy, spending most of his time in Venice. In this work, Dürer portrays himself as a member of the upper middle class with his elegant dress and posture. This type of formal portrait with a window opening onto a beautiful landscape shows the extensive influence of Italian Renaissance portraiture on his work. In the year before this painting was made Dürer replaced his signature with a monogram consisting of a D enshrined by an A in Gothic script. We know that he painted this piece when he was 26, as he wrote under the window, “I painting this according to my image/when I was 26 years old.” E2 uses a woman in this portrait to portray Durer.
Ode to Raphael’s Pietro Bembo Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese studio Inspired by Raphael’s Pietro Bembo, 1506 Collection of Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest Raphael was born in Urbino in 1483 as Raffaello Santi. He saw himself not simply as an artisan, but also as a man of culture. His immense talent and intellect enabled him to create striking narratives in his compositions. As gifted as Raphael was in painting, he was also very organized and socially adept. Indeed, it was his talent for being socially aware which enabled him to endow his aristocratic sitters with such psychological complexity and presence, that these qualities became highly influential in the work of future portraitists. Inspired by Venetian motifs, Raphael experimented with their sensual qualities, employing a style reminiscent of da Vinci and Giorgione, in which the sitter is partially turned away from the viewer while still looking at the viewer. The sitter in this piece is Pietro Bembo, who was born in Venice in 1470. Bembo came from an aristocratic family. His father was an ambassador for Venice. Because his father wanted to play a paramount role in Bembo’s education, Bembo often accompanied him on his diplomatic missions. On one of these travels, he visited Florence where he acquired a love for the Tuscan form of the Italian language. This love was so strong that in later life Bembo helped to establish the Italian literary language, proposing that it be based on 14th rather than Latin or a more modern Italian version. By the end of the 16th his model had triumphed. Bembo was also well-known for his poetry and used Petrach as his model. In fact, the way in which he made direct imitations of Petrach’s work became so influential that it became known as bembismo. His poetry was set to music and often played with the lute. When Bembo was in Ferrara in 1502 and 1503, he was said to have had an affair with Lucrezia Borgia. Ten years later he was appointed secretary to Pope Leo X. In 1529 he became the historiographer to Venice. E2’s version has Italian artist Grelo posing as Bembo. E2’s Kleinveld saw Grelo’s series of doors, entitled, Biography of a Human Being, during Art Basel in 2012 She was so taken with this work that she asked him to be a model for this series. 31
Ode to Albrecht Durer’s Self-portrait, 1500 Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Albrecht Durer’s Self-Portrait, 1500 Collection of the Alte Pinakothek, Munich This self-portrait is considered to be his most famous one as it shows him in a frontal pose like the savior. Again, we see a man with carefully styled hair and immaculate dress, a man who exudes a confidence about his position as an artist and intellectual of international renown. He was visited by important intellectuals including Jacopo de Barbari, who came to Nuremberg in 1500 to share his views about the theory of proportion. After de Barbari’s visit Durer wanted to travel to Bologna to see the Franciscan monk Luca Pacioli. By 1506 Durer was in Venice again and was so well received that he said, “here I am a gentlemen, at home I am a parasite.” Indeed he was so famous that even the Doge had come to see his work. Durer was likened to Leonardo because of his continuous intellectual curiosity. Yet, while Leonardo looked to the world around him Durer’s focus was inward, exploring his personality and soul. Durer produced a number of theoretical writings in which he shared his aesthetic principles. His first publication, Treatise on Measurement was published in 1525, followed by Treatise on City Fortification in 1527 and four books on proportions published in 1528. In addition he had worked on an unfinished manuscript The Book on Painting. These publications show Durer’s vast interest in different fields and are an inseparable part to his work. Indeed, without these writings the depth of his work can’t be fully appreciated. E2’s version shows Epaul Julien as Durer and uses both Durer’s logo as well as that of E2.
Ode to Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus Shot in New Orleans in 2012, background painted by Marco Ventura Inspired by Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus, 1510 (completed after his death) Collection of Gemäldegalerie, Dresden. Giorgione, the nickname for Giorgio da Castelfranco, means Big George. This name alludes not only to his physical appearance but also his intellectual stature, which links him to da Vinci as being one of the founders of “modern painting.” Trained by Bellini, Vasari believed that Giorgione’s talent event surpassed that of his master, whom the Venetians highly revered. Vasari says that Giorgione’s living forms and representations were so well harmonized and subtly shaded that many of his peers said that he had been born in order to infuse life into painted figures. His legacy can also be seen in his subtle use of color. It is said that Giorgione’s, “Sleeping Venus” founded the tradition of the female reclining nude. Because of his early death due to the plague, Giorgione’s student, Titian, finished the work, painting the background. E2’s version of the piece shows a model who is not an idealized version of beauty and sensuality, but rather a woman well into her forties. Having made her career in the circus, E2 brings up a number of stereotypes that lead to discrimination, ranging from age discrimination to career choice to body art (both tattoos and piercings).
Ode to Metsys’ Moneylenders Shot in 2013 in Amsterdam Inspired by Quentin Metsys’ The Moneylenders, 1514 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Quentin Metsys (also spelled Massys) is said to be the most important painter who worked in Antwerp in the beginning of the 16th century. Born in Leuven in 1466, he went to Antwerp to become a painter in the guild of painters in 1491. Considered to be one of the foremost artists of his day by Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, he was visited by Albrecht Durer in 1520. Metsys’ most popular work today is the Moneylenders, which is also known as the Banker and his wife. Many of the artists of his day used satire and allegory in the works and with the influence of his humanist patrons this was also the case for Metsys. In fact it is thought that Metsys was inspired by a work that Van Eyck painted in 1440, representing a merchant with his accounts. What we see in this work is a couple is leaning on a table filled with coins, a circular mirror, a Book of Hours, and a ring holder. In the convex mirror we see a thief spying on the couple as the man counts their riches and his wife is transfixed by the gold, oblivious to the thief, a clear allusion to being blinded by greed. Though the original frame no longer exists, it is recorded to have cited a passage from Leviticus stating, “just balances, just weighs…shall ye have.” The original work is a warning about being overcome by greed. Throughout the ages, those who have lent money are seen as fostering sin. It is easy to point fingers at those who we feel have led us astray, making us loan too much money and charging too much interest. And while our systems failed us in the credit crisis, we must look not only at how to better regulate the industry, but we should also question the part that we played in wanting more and more. In so doing, we will be better able to manage our desires and not have them lead us astray.
Ode to Raphael’s Bindo Altoviti Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Raphael’s Bindo Altoviti, c.a. 1515 Collection of the National Gallery, Washington, DC Born in Urbino in 1483 as Raffaello Santi, the man the world knows as Raphael, saw himself as a man of culture and not just an artisan. Raphael’s immense talent enabled him to create striking narratives in his compositions. And yet it is not only his artistic talent which helped him to achieve such great heights but also his social skills and prestige. These qualities helped him to endow aristocratic sitters with both a psychological complexity and a physical presence that would become highly influential in the work of future portraitists. Inspired by Venetian motifs, Raphael experimented with their sensual qualities, employing a style reminiscent of da Vinci and Giorgione, in which the sitter is partially turned away from the viewer while still looking at the viewer. The subject of this portrait is Bindo Altoviti, who came from a thriving family of Florentine bankers. Altoviti took over the Roman arm of the business at the age of 16 when his father died. Although the exact date of this work is not known, it was most likely commissioned a year after his marriage in 1511, when he would have been about 20 years old. There is a soft and inviting quality in Altoviti’s mysterious yet penetrating gaze. Indeed, depicting a beacon of society in such a sensual manner was unusual and it is precisely this psychological complexity, which has captivated admirers of Raphael’s work. E2 has taken out some of the subtle shading, which makes Raphael’s portrait so compelling. For while the idea of a Renaissance man was popular in Raphael’s time, today it would be harder to find an artist depicting a banker sitting in such a soft repose. Altoviti’s hardened gaze in the E2 portrait makes him a lot less approachable and complex than Raphael’s version. In so doing, E2 has served up the stereotype of a banker in the 21st century. With the backlash against the banking industry we are experiencing today, bankers are branded as arrogant, self-serving, manipulators of the public and establishment (regulators, law makers, politicians, etc.). And yet this narrow view of bankers does not help us to solve the current economic crisis, a crisis in which the Banks had a substantial role, but not the only one. By stereotyping and making scapegoats out of this group, we take away our own responsibility to understand how our behavior and lifestyle may have contributed to this crisis as well. 39
Ode to Titian’s Flora Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Titian’s Flora, 1516-18 Collection of the Uffizi, Florence Tiziano Vecelli, commonly known as Titian, lived in Venice from 1487-1576 and was trained in the studio of Giovanni Bellini. When Bellini died in 1516, Titian became the official painter to the Venetian Republic. Indeed, Titian’s renown was vast and his work was commissioned by the most pre-eminent kings and nobles of his day, including Francois I of France, Philip II of Spain, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Pope Paul III. His studio was prolific, producing several thousand works. Titian not only displayed a technical brilliance but also a likeable character. His talent for portraiture showed already at a young age as he was able to endow his sitters with both self-assurance and sensitivity. In this image, we see a young woman whose linen chemise is slipping off her shoulder. Her hand is full of a mix of flowers, linking her to the Roman goddess of flowers and springtime. While there was a long tradition of linking the name Flora to courtesans, many paintings similar to this one were intended to be wedding gifts, only for the couple’s appreciation. As such the woman is portrayed to be desirable and virtuous, two qualities of the ideal wife. In this work the sitter appears lost in thought, relaxed with just the slightest hint of temptation. In this work, like so many of Titian’s sensual paintings the viewer feels as if they are intimately connected with the subject, desiring her on the one hand and appreciating her personality on the other. It is long thought that the model, who appears in a number of his works, was his mistress, Cecilia, who later became his wife. She is endowed with his trademark image of beauty, a woman with long strawberry blond locks. E2’s rendition shows a dark skinned beauty, whose ability to produce the same pose and presence takes us back almost five hundred years.
Ode to Holbein’s Jane Seymour Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Holbein’s Jane Seymour, 1536-37 Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Hans Holbein is a German painter, who is celebrated as one of the greatest portraitists of all times. After training with his father, Hans Holbein the Elder in Augsburg, Hans went to Basel where he worked first as a designer for printers. In 1516 he painted portraits of the mayor of Basel, Jacob Meyer and his wife. It was in Basel where he befriended Erasmus, whom he painted three times in 1523. In 1526 he left for England, after Erasmus introduced him to Sir Thomas More. Although More was one of Holbein’s patrons, by the time this work was painted both he and Anne Boleyn had been executed. Known for his flattering portraits, Henry brought Holbein on board by 1536 and he stayed in the King’s household until his death of plague in 1543. Henry’s favorite wife, Jane Seymour died soon after childbirth in 1537. In early 1536 Henry became interested in Jane, who had been the maidof-honour to both Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn. While Jane was said to have a child-like face, there is nothing of that look in the original Holbein, in which she appears to be stiff almost to the point of rigidity. It is this regal yet rigid countenance that E2 recreates, but with a model from China who has a few modern touches, including the nail polish that she wears.
Ode to Titianâ€™s Venus of Urbino Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam. Background illustrated by Marco Ventura Inspired by Titianâ€™s Venus of Urbino, 1538 Collection of Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence Tiziano Vecelli, commonly known as Titian, who lived in Venice from 1487-1576, was trained in the studio of Giovanni Bellini. When Bellini died in 1516, Titian became the official painter to the Venetian Republic. Indeed, Titianâ€™s renown was vast and his work was commissioned by the most preeminent kings and nobles of his day, including Francois I of France, Philip II of Spain, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Pope Paul III. His studio was prolific, producing several thousand works. Of all the female nudes in the history of painting, the Venus of Urbino is probably one of those whom has commanded the most attention from writers. Why? Because she unabashedly parades her nudity. What provokes the viewer is her unflinching gaze as her left hand lightly rests on her sex. Indeed the roses in her right hand are thought to symbolize the pleasure she is affording herself. The color of her hair, a golden red, appeared in so much of his work that it was coined, Titian hair. Titian was also known for the way he depicted life through colored light and was also instrumental in establishing oil paint as a widely accepted medium, which he applied in expansive brush strokes, sometimes using his fingers to give the work a final touch. What is interesting about this piece is that E2 has made it a mixed media photograph, having the original photograph painted on to show the background of the original work. Furthermore, the model does not have Titian hair because she is of Thai and Norwegian decent.
Ode to Bronzino’s Portrait of Bartolomeo Panciatichi Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese studio Inspired by Bronzino’s Portrait of Bartolomeo Panciatichi, 1540 Collection of Uffizi, Florence Angolo di Cosimo, nick named Bronzino, meaning bronze colored, was born near Florence in 1503. A pupil of Pontormo, Bronzino was known for his sophisticated mannerist style and great technical merit. In 1530 Bronzino went to Pesaro, where he came into contact with work from Bellini, Titian, Lotto, Correggio and Parmigianino, as well as with work from the Flemish masters. In addition to his artistic talent, Bronzino also delighted in writing poetry and making music. In 1541, he joined the newly founded Accademia degli Umidi, a literary academy that Bartolomeo Panciatichi joined around the same time. It is during this period that Bronzino painted portraits of both Panciatichi and his wife Lucrezia, portraits that Varsari greatly admired, calling them “so natural that they really seem to live, lacking nothing but breath.” Indeed, it is his portraits for which Bronzino is most revered. The sitter, Bartolomeo Panciatichi, was a Florentine humanist and politician. He was born in 1507 in France, where his father had a large trading company in Lyon. His father had such imminent contacts that Bartolomeo the younger was a page at Francis I’s court, where he met his wife Lucrezia Pucci. Instead of running his father’s business in France after his death, Bartolomeo and Lucrezia decided to permanently settle in Florence in 1539. Yet their time in France had exposed them to Protestant ideas and they brought over a number of Reformist books to Florence. In fact, by 1550 these sympathies had gotten the Panchiatichi’s into trouble and they ended up being tried for heresy by the Inquisition of Bologna, which ordered their books to be burned. Although they were Catholic, it is said that their portraits contain references to their Lutheran sympathies. E2’s version depicts the Florentine artist, Luigi Petracchi as Bartolomeo Panciatichi. Petracchi’s own work contains much symbolism and like E2’s work, it leaves space for the observer to interpret the work. Indeed, it is this free thinking, reminiscent of Bartolomeo Panciatichi that inspired E2 to ask Petracchi to be the sitter. The costume has been created by the renowned Atelier Pietro Longhi inVenice especially for this shoot. 47
Ode to Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man Shot in 2012 in Verona together with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Angolo Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man 1540 Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Angolo di Cosimo, nick named Bronzino, meaning bronze colored, was a pupil of Pontormo. Known for his sophisticated mannerist style and great technical merit, Bronzino was also a talented poet, who composed verses in Petrarch’s style. Connected to the aristocratic and intellectual elite of Florence, Bronzino painted various portraits and devotional works for them. In 1539 he became the court painter for Cosimo I. It is said that his most personal portraits are of the literary figures of his day. This work, which is considered to be one of Bronzino’s greatest portraits, is an excellent example of the mannerist style. The sitter looks at us yet gives nothing away, almost daring us to discover who he really is. He radiates elegance and detachment, poise and distance. On the one hand he draws us in and yet he holds us at bay, closing off his true nature just as the book he holds is closed. Similarly the E2 version of Bronzino’s work shows a youth with a face that is porcelain-hard, one that gives nothing away. Like the original version, a ring of light forms an oval around the sitter’s face, giving it a mask-like quality. What we see here is definitely not what we get.
Ode to Titian’s Cardinal Farnese Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese Studio Inspired by Titian’s Portrait of Cardinal Farnese, 1546 Collection of Capodimonte Museum, Naples Tiziano Vecelli, commonly known as Titian, lived in Venice from 1487-1576 and was trained in the studio of Giovanni Bellini. When Bellini died in 1516, Titian became the official painter to the Venetian Republic. Titian’s renown was so vast that his work was commissioned by the most preeminent kings and nobles of his day, including Francois I of France, Philip II of Spain, Charles V, the Holy Roman Emperor and Pope Paul III. His studio was prolific, producing several thousand works. Titian not only displayed a technical brilliance but also a likeable character. His talent for portraiture showed already at a young age, as he was able to endow his sitters with both self-assurance and sensitivity. This portrait is of Cardinal Alessandro Farnese, who was the illegitimate son of Pope Paul III, who excommunicated Henry VIII in 1538. Alessandro Farnese had a love of art and gathered the most impressive private collection of Roman sculpture since Antiquity. Not only was he a patron of art, literature and science, but he also represented the needs of the poor. Farnese was a dignitary for the Pope at the courts of both Charles V and Francis I of France and he was one of the papal candidates in 1580. In E2’s rendition Marco Ventura is the sitter. Ventura is an illustrator and artist living in Milan. Ventura has worked with E2 on four previous pieces, painting the background of Ode to Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus, Ode to Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medallion of Cosimo the Elder, Ode to Titian’s Venus of Urbino and Ode to Goya’s Maya. In this work Ventura is holding his cell phone. He had just received a call from his daughter and we wanted to imbue the work with a bit of Ventura’s personality, which can be seen in his illustrations—a deep knowledge of art history combined with a brilliant sense of humor.
Ode to Sofonisba Anguissola’s Self-portrait Shot in 2012 in Verona together with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Sofonisba Anguissola’s Self-portrait, 1554 Collection of the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Born in Cremona in 1532 to a member of minor Genose nobility, Sofonisba was the first woman to be noted internationally for her artistic achievements. Indeed, Vasari says that Sofonisba “has shown greater application and better grace than any other woman of our age in her endeavors at drawing; she has thus succeeded not only in drawing, coloring and painting from nature, and copying excellently from others, but by herself has created rare and very beautiful paintings.” Sofonisba’s talent was also recognized by Michelangelo and when she was 90, she was visited by Van Dyck. Sofonisba’s portraits in the 1550’s show a physiognomy typical of the Lombard tradition. Some of her finest works are her self-portraits and portraits of her family. In this self-portrait, the 22 year-old Sofonisba is simply dressed and holds a book with her name in Latin, which says, Sofonisba Anguissola, a virgin, made this herself in 1554. In so doing, Sofonisba presents herself as a chaste artist with a love of poetry, showing her level of education and her serious nature. Indeed her serious and thoughtful nature, indicate a rich inner life. Her use of a mirror, for which her father, Amilcare alludes to in a letter to the Duke of Ferrara, is evident due to her wide open eyes, the fixity of her gaze and the disproportional features on her face. E2 has recreated this work to pay homage to female artists who have often had to struggle for acknowledgement. The photograph was made together with photographer Mauro Fiorese, whose wife, painter, Pamela Grigiante, poses as Sofonisba.
Ode to Anguissola’s Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola Shot in 2012 in Verona together with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Sofonisba’s Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola , 1558-9 Collection of Pinacoteca Nazionale, Sienna Born in Cremona to an aristocratic family, Sofonisba was the oldest of her parent’s seven children. Like Sofonisba, her other sisters were also painters, but it was Sofonisba who truly distinguished herself as an artist. Sofonisba was the first woman to be noted internationally for her artistic achievements. After studying with Bernardino Campi from 1546-1549, Sofonisba went to Spain to work at Philip II’s court in 1559, where she stayed for ten years. Sofonisba’s portraits are also known for their psychological investigation, including her self-portraits, which often show an image of a cultured woman cognizant of her own abilities. This work, created immediately before her departure to Spain shows a more mature Sofonisba. Sofonisba as the pupil dominates the scene as she plays homage to her master. This image shows a complexity of thinking and a sophisticated play of spatial illusion. E2 has recreated this work to pay homage to female artists who have often had to struggle for acknowledgement. The photograph was made together with photographer Mauro Fiorese, who also poses as Bernardino Campi and his wife, painter, Pamela Grigiante as Sofonisba.
Ode to Veronese’s La Bella Nani Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Paolo Veronese’s La Bella Nani, 1560 Collection of Louvre, Paris Paolo Cagliari, known as Veronese was born in Verona circa1528. His nickname is derived from his hometown. Veronese trained with Badile and later married his daughter. From 1553 Veronese was based in Venice and hence is considered a member of the Venetian School. A contemporary of Tintoretto, both artists became dominant figures Venetian painting in the period after Titian. Like Tintoretto, Veronese was also employed by the Venetian republic to decorate some of the rooms in the Doge’s Palace. While Tintoretto concentrated more on religious subjects, Veronese received a number of secular commissions. Veronese had a love for ornamentation, which got him in trouble in 1573 when he was interrogated about adding a buffoon with a parrot on his wrist, dwarfs, a servant with a bleeding nose, etc. to the painting entitled Last Supper. Instead of making the changes required to the work, he changed the name to the Feast in the House of Levi, one of the most famous works in Venice’s museum, the Accademia. The Bella Nani, also known as Portrait of a Venetian Woman is one of the few female portraits Veronese painted. The dress worn by this married woman from a patrician family was in vogue around 1560. Dressed in all her finery she is beautiful to behold yet she exudes a melancholy quality. Curators at the Louvre, where this piece hang remind us that La Bella Nani exudes all of the criteria for a woman to be considered beautiful in Venice at that time, including her pearly complexion, blond hair, and reserved stance, which would have been appropriate for a married woman at that time. Just as Veronese paid meticulous attention to detail with the sleeves of her beautiful blue dress, so has E2. Having commissioned Atelier Pietro Longhi to reproduce the original dress, the studio found the color that represented Venice and ensured that all the details of the original were taken into account. Unlike the original, however, the sitter exudes a presence more reminiscent of a woman of power today than one that is reserved and knows her place.
Ode to Veronese’s Portrait of a Man Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Paolo Veronese’s Portrait of a Man, 1576-8 Collection of the Getty Museum, Los Angeles Paolo Cagliari, known as Veronese was born in Verona circa1528. His nickname is derived from his hometown. Veronese trained with Badile and later married his daughter. From 1553 Veronese was based in Venice and hence is considered a member of the Venetian School. A contemporary of Tintoretto, both artists became dominant figures Venetian painting in the period after Titian. Like Tintoretto, Veronese was also employed by the Venetian republic to decorate some of the rooms in the Doge’s Palace. While Tintoretto concentrated more on religious subjects, Veronese received a number of secular commissions. Veronese had a love for ornamentation, which got him in trouble in 1573 when he was interrogated about adding a buffoon with a parrot on his wrist, dwarfs, a servant with a bleeding nose, etc. to the painting entitled Last Supper. Instead of making the changes required to the work, he changed the name to the Feast in the House of Levi, one of the most famous works in Venice’s museum, the Accademia. According to the Metropolitian Museum of Art, “His art is inextricably linked to the idea of opulence and splendor in Renaissance Venice.” The identity of the original sitter is a mystery. Some scholars have suggested that the work was a selfportrait of Veronese, however, since Veronese’s appearance is unknown, this can’t be confirmed. The sitter leans on the base of a fluted column. It has been speculated that the carved reliefs at the architectural base may reference the sitter’s background. As such, E2’s version has Raffaele Dessi, a Venetian architect and stylist from Atelier Pietro Longhi, as the model. Again the Atelier remade this lavish black piece especially for this shoot. In Veronese’s time, black was the most expensive color to make because it used the most dye. We have decided to use Raffaele’s own shoes to give the work a modern feel.
Ode to Veronese’s Lucretia Shot in 2013 in New Orleans Inspired by Paolo Veronese’s Lucretia, 1580/83 Collection of Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Paolo Cagliari, known as Veronese was born in Verona circa1528. His nickname is derived from his hometown. Veronese trained with Badile and later married his daughter. From 1553 Veronese was based in Venice and hence is considered a member of the Venetian School. A contemporary of Tintoretto, both artists became dominant figures Venetian painting in the period after Titian. Like Tintoretto, Veronese was also employed by the Venetian republic to decorate some of the rooms in the Doge’s Palace. While Tintoretto concentrated more on religious subjects, Veronese received a number of secular commissions. Veronese had a love for ornamentation, which got him in trouble in 1573 when he was interrogated about adding a buffoon with a parrot on his wrist, dwarfs, a servant with a bleeding nose, etc. to the painting entitled Last Supper. Instead of making the changes required to the work, he changed the name to the Feast in the House of Levi, one of the most famous works in Venice’s museum, the Accademia. According to the Metropolitian Museum of Art, “His art is inextricably linked to the idea of opulence and splendor in Renaissance Venice.” This work created in the decade before his death, exudes darker, more somber tones and that is certainly the case with this work of Lucretia right before she takes her life. Unlike Titian portrayal of Lucretia at the moment of her rape by Tarquin, the seventh and final King of Rome, who reigned from 535 BC until the uprising of 509 BC in which he and his family were expelled and the Roman Republic was established. Veronese chooses to show Lucretia in the moment right before her suicide. Her face is full of grief as she looks down to the left right as she begins to insert the sword between her breasts. In E2’s version the sitter exudes the same type of despair as the original Lucretia. The twist comes when viewing this work together with Veronese’s Penitent Magdalen, in other words as a diptych.
Ode to Veronese’s Penitent Magdalene Shot in 2013 in New Orleans Inspired by Paolo Veronese’s Penitent Magdalene, 1583 Collection of the Prado, Madrid Paolo Cagliari, known as Veronese was born in Verona circa1528. His nickname is derived from his hometown. Considered one of the masters of the late Renaissance, Veronese trained with Badile and later married his daughter. From 1553 Veronese was based in Venice and hence is considered a member of the Venetian School. A contemporary of Tintoretto, both artists became dominant figures Venetian painting in the period after Titian. Like Tintoretto, Veronese was also employed by the Venetian republic to decorate some of the rooms in the Doge’s Palace. While Tintoretto concentrated more on religious subjects, Veronese received a number of secular commissions. Veronese had a love for ornamentation, which got him in trouble in 1573 when he was interrogated about adding a buffoon with a parrot on his wrist, dwarfs, a servant with a bleeding nose, etc. to the painting entitled Last Supper. Instead of making the changes required to the work, he changed the name to the Feast in the House of Levi, one of the most famous works in Venice’s museum, the Accademia. According to the Metropolitian Museum of Art, “His art is inextricably linked to the idea of opulence and splendor in Renaissance Venice.” It is said that Veronese’s use of brilliant, luminous hues is reminiscent of Verona’s artistic style, which focused on harmonies of contrast rather than the Venetian style, where the focus was harmonies of tone. Veronese’s use of color and perspective went on to influence the Flemish Baroque master, Peter Paul Rubens. In this work, Magdalene covers herself with her golden locks, as she looks awe-struck towards the sky almost as if she’s seeing a vision. She is full of contradictions, embodying sin and salvation, the fallen and the redeemed simultaneously. Yet with the skull posed in the bottom left corner, under the crucifixion, the work ultimately reminds us of the transient nature of earthly pursuits. Veronese’s latter works used a darker palette and less complex compositions, resulting in more emotionally charged works. E2’s version uses an African American model to be Christ’s consort, the Magdalene. In both the Magdalene and Lucretia the raw emotion is almost palpable.
Ode to the Pinching D’Estrées Sisters Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by an anonymous artist of the Fontainebleau School’s Presumed Portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and Her Sister, the Duchess of Villars, circa 1594 Collection of the Louvre, Paris One of the ways to challenge stereotypes is to take iconic images and change them a bit. This portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and her sister, a work that has been a favorite at the Louvre for years, does not need a lot of changing to stir questions in the viewer’s mind. The artist who created this work is unknown, however it is clearly from the Fontainebleau School as the women are depicted in their bathtub, an obvious allusion to the theme of Venus, the Goddess of love. This type of portrait was fashionable in aristocratic circles and most found the subject matter pleasing as it usually shared an intimate view of the daily life of the sitters. However this intimate view is anything but ordinary and that is precisely what drew us to remake this piece. One of the subtle changes that we made is to have the woman who is sewing in the background look directly at the viewer, which a servant would have never done in the late 1500’s. Gabrielle d’ Estrées was one of Henry IV’s favorite mistresses. She was pregnant with his son when this work was painted and hence the pinch of her nipple refers to the child, which will soon drink the mother’s milk. Yet, without the knowledge of the original, the viewer wonders what is going on. And so the questioning begins, which at the end of the day we hope will lead to a discussion of the effects of stereotypes.
Ode to Rubens’ Self-portrait with Isabella Brant Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese Studio Inspired by Rubens’ The Artist and his Wife in a Honeysuckle Bower, 1609 Collection of the Alte Pinakothek Munich Rubens was born in Germany in 1577 to parents who had fled Antwerp due to his father’s Protestant sympathies. Soon after his father’s death in 1587 he went back to Antwerp with his mother and converted to Catholicism. In 1598 he became a master in the Antwerp painters’ guild. Soon thereafter he travelled to Italy, where he stayed for eight years, only returning to Antwerp in 1608 upon hearing that his mother was deathly ill. It was in Italy where his style was largely formed, for he had become so absorbed with the lessons of the Renaissance masters, such as Carracci, that he began to feel as if Italy was his spiritual home. Had it not been for his immediate success upon returning to Antwerp, he probably would have gone back to Italy. The year this work was painted was indeed an eventful one for Rubens for he was appointed court painter to the Spanish governors of the Netherlands, Archduke Albert and his wife, Isabella, daughter of Philip II of Spain. It was also in this year that he married his first wife, Isabella Brant, the 17-year-old daughter of an eminent lawyer from Antwerp. This self-portrait of Rubens and his young wife shows a confident, handsome young man, full of vigor and on the threshold of an illustrious career. Rubens whose studio was known for its efficiency was not only a painter but also a draughtsman and diplomat. Knighted soon after the death of his first wife, by Charles I of England and Philip the IV of Spain, he is considered to be the greatest and most influential of the Baroque artists in Northern Europe. Called the ‘prince of painters and painter of princes’ during his lifetime, Van Dyck was his most renowned student. Due to the variety of his work, his influence on artists throughout the ages was so immense that even three artists with totally different styles and characters were amongst his admirers—Watteau, Delacroix and Renoir. E2’s version has Italian artist Grelo as Rubens posing with Dutch make-up artist, Frederique Nuhaan, who has worked with E2 since this series took shape in 2010. While Grelo exudes the strong confidence of painter coming into his own, Nuhaan is not the demure version of Brant that the original work shows, but a force to be reckoned with in her own right. Seated almost as high as Grelo, she does not fade into the background or bend her head in reference. Her smile is less that of an innocent young bride and more one of a woman of the world, who challenges theviewer not to underestimate her own strength and power. She places her hand on top of Grelo’s arm in a bold move that shows us that he’s under her possession.
Peeter Stevens’ Love Interest Shot in 2009 in Amsterdam Inspired by Willem van Haecht’s The Art Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest, 1628 Collection of Rubenshuis, Antwerp In 1626 Van Haecht became the live-in curator of Cornelis van der Geest, one the Antwerp’s most distinguished patrons and art collectors. In The Art Cabinet of Cornelis van der Geest, the owner shows the pride and joy of his collection to the artistic elite of Antwerp, including Archdukes Albert and Isabella, Nicolaas Rockox, Jan van de Wouwer, and Peeter Stevens, seen leaning against the table holding up a portrait miniature. Each painting in the room is a precise copy of the original work. Our information about Van der Geest’s collection largely rests on Van Haeccht’s gallery paintings since no written inventory has survived of the collection. After Van der Geest’s death his collection was dispersed and many of his paintings ended up in the collection of Peeter Stevens, who was known to have a less “modern” taste in painting and favored Old Netherlandish paintings. E2’s version shows a detail of van Haecht’s famous gallery painting. The twist is that he shows off the portrait of a woman in one hand, while the hand of another woman taps his shoulder. In the original work, this is actually the hand of another man.
Ode to de la Tour’s Penitent Magdalen Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Georges de la Tour’s Penitent Magdalen, 1638-43 Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Georges de la Tour was born in 1593 in a small French town just twenty miles from Nancy. A painter in the Baroque tradition, he’s considered to be a Dutch Caravaggisti and is often compared to the Dutch painter Hendrick Terbrugghen. De la Tour is best known for his use of lighting in nocturnal scenes, which he took further than his predecessors. The work developed later in his career shows a greater stillness and simplicity. Although he was appointed the position of court painter, after his death in 1652, his work was largely forgotten. He was rediscovered in 1915 when German scholar, Hermann Voss, discovered some of his work, which had been confused with Vermeer. In the Penitent Magdalene, we see Mary just before her conversion. She has just cast aside her jewels to the ground, giving up the materialism of her worldly life in search for a more spiritual existence. The skull may suggest the death of her old life as she ponders her conversion. Looking contemplatively into the flame, which gives the work a mysterious quality, she ponders her new illumination. In E2’s work, the model is an American from African and American Indian descent.
Ode to Velázquez’ Venus at her Mirror Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by Velazquez’ Venus at her Mirror, 1647-51 Collection of the National Gallery, London Diego Rodriquez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville in 1599 and was quickly recognized as a child prodigy. His career took off after he was appointed the court painter to Philip IV in 1623, in whose palace he enjoyed having his studio and gallery. Although the portrayal of nudes was officially discouraged due to the Spanish Inquisition, Velázquez was protected and able to carry out the commission of Venus at her Mirror due to his relationship with the King. It remains the only surviving female nude by Velázquez due to the rarity of nudes in 17th century Spanish art. Velázquez was inspired to paint Venus at her Mirror after his visits to Italy. Painted in the Venetian Renaissance style, its all-pervasive theme is reflection. Venus reflects on her beauty, reflected in the mirror; since we can dimly see her face, we know that our face can be seen by her, and she may be thought to reflect on the effect her beauty has on us. Venus is pictured reclining with her back to the viewer – in antiquity, portrayal of Venus from a back view was a common visual and literary erotic motif. Velázquez’ Venus, however, is not portrayed as in traditional depictions: she has no jewelry, roses, myrtle, or blond hair. The only way to identify the woman as Venus is because of the presence of her son, Cupid. E2 has substituted cupid for a hand with a ring with wings on it and made an interesting change with the face the model sees looking back at her in the mirror.
Ode to Velázquez’ Juan de Pareja Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Velázquez’ Juan de Pareja, ca.1650 Collection of The Met, New York Diego Rodriquez de Silva y Velázquez was born in Seville in 1599 and was quickly recognized as a child prodigy. At 24 his career took off when he was appointed the court painter to Philip IV. Velázquez remained the unchallenged favorite of the King for the rest of his life, enjoying a studio and gallery in the palace. Hailed for his exceptional powers of observation, Velázquez is seen as the greatest Spanish painter of the Seventeenth Century, also known as the golden age of Spanish art. Juan de Pareja, the studio assistant of Velázquez, was actually Velázquez’ slave, a mulatto of Moorish decent, whom Velázquez granted freedom when they were together in Rome (around 1650). Velázquez painted this portrait in preparation for painting the portrait of Pope Innocent X. His portrait of Juan de Pareja was shown in the annual exhibition at the Pantheon. According to Palomino’s biography, one art connoisseur stated “everything else seemed like painting but this alone like truth.” Due to Velázquez’ understated way of painting, he showed that without using many contrasting colors, you could still obtain convincing optical effects by working with variations on the surface. The E2 version while using a similar color palette, does not contain the subtle strength and poised allure of Velázquez’ Juan de Pareja. The Juan de Pareja in E2’s work is more brash and self-confident, exuding almost an air of arrogance, which let’s you know that he is not willing to play a diffident role.
Ode to Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by Johannes Vermeer, Woman with a Pearl Necklace, circa 1664 Collection of Gemäldegalerie, Berlin Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter who specialized in exquisite domestic interior scenes of middle class life. In Woman with a Pearl Necklace Vermeer minimized the apparent physical activity of the figure, portraying her at the moment she has the ribbons of her pearl necklace pulled taut. Her thoughts may be inward, but they are expressed through her gaze, which reaches through the stained glass window. The whole space between her and the side wall of the room thus becomes activated with her presence. It is a subtle yet daring composition, one that succeeds because of Vermeer’s acute sensitivity to the placement of objects and to the importance of spaces between these objects.
Ode to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca 1665 Collection of the Mauritshuis, The Hague Made in the same year that Rembrandt painted the Jewish Bride, Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring (ca 1665) was created at a time in which Vermeer’s contemporaries concentrated on official commissioned portraits or scenes from stories. Because of this, we do not know who the sitters are, but since Vermeer had a large family (11 children), it is often thought that he used one of his children for this piece. Regardless, Vermeer is able to capture the sitter’s youth and seeming shyness or uncertainty in an unforgettable manner. With wide dark eyes and slightly parted lips, and light shining on her face, the girl mesmerizes us with her gaze and immediately we are drawn in. What adds mystery to the piece is that in the seventeenth century, the turban she is wearing would have been seen as a very exotic accessory. Indeed, it is said that this type of portrait (tronies) are more about the exotic strange quality, which allows the observer to use their imagination. E2’s remake of the most talked about of Vermeer’s portraits shows someone from another culture than would have been the case during Vermeer’s time. Yet, like the original, we are intrigued by this woman’s penetrating inquisitive look, a look in which the viewer feels that they are the only one in the world she’s focused on. Again, the aim of this work as part of the E2 portrait series is to challenge our ideas on stereotypes to bring about a dialogue about their consequences.
Ode to Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride Shot in 2012 in Amsterdam Inspired by Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride, ca 1665 Collection of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Made towards the end of his life, the Jewish Bride is one of Rembrandt’s most loved paintings because it exudes an intimacy unknown in Dutch painting until this time. We are touched by the tenderness they express to one another through their gestures, the deep red of the woman’s clothes and by Rembrandt’s enchanting use of light. As work from the E2 series seeks to take existing masters and remake them in a way which asks the viewer to question what is different, odd or out of place in order to discuss stereotypes, so we wanted to remake one of the most iconic images in Dutch art. This image has been the subject of debate over the years. Are we seeing a groom and his bride or a father and his daughter? Regardless of the roles, the tender way in which the man touches the woman’s breast and her light touch in response depicts a deep sense of reverence and love between the two. Instead of having the “bride” be a typical Dutch woman, we chose someone from a totally different culture, namely Asian. In addition, the couple is not a man and his bride nor a father and daughter but actually two women, which may not be apparent at first glance.
Ode to Rigaud’s Louis XIV Shot in 2013 in Verona with Mauro Fiorese. Inspired by Rigaud’s Portrait of Louis XIV, 1701 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Hyacinthe Rigaud was a French painter of Catalan origin, most well known for his portrait paintings of Louis XIV. Considered the most important portraitists during Louis XIV’s reign, his ability to show the pomp and circumstance of that time enabled him to paint four generations of Bourbon nobility. A career, which spanned nearly sixty years, Rigaud won the Prix de Rome in 1682 and went on to paint the movers and shakers in France through 1740. This portrait is Rigaud’s most well-known one, in which he portrays Louis in his coronation costume. From the way the light hits his face to the air he exudes, we get the impression of an imposing personality in no uncertain terms. First and foremost this portrait reminds us of the King’s absolute power. Another sign of his power was shown in the building of Versailles during his reign. Under Louis rule, trade blossomed and the arts flourished. Ascending the throne at four, Louis reigned longer than any other European monarch, over seventy years. Our model is Italian photographer Mauro Fiorese, who uses his own cane in E2’s rendition. Fiorese, who was in a serious motorcycle accident a few months before the shoot reminds us of the stereotypes we have about people with physical disabilities. While these stereotypes are not visible to the viewer, it was the looks that Fiorese complained of when he got out of the hospital that inspired us to have him redo this famous work.
Ode to Gainsborough’s The Linley Sisters Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Gainsborough’s The Linley Sisters, 1772 Collection of Dulwich Picture Gallery, London Gainsborough has been called “one of the most individual geniuses in British art.” By the time he was 13, he had shown a talent for landscape painting and was sent to London to study under the French engraver, Gravelot, where he was introduced to the French Rococo style. Gainsborough enjoyed experimenting and often combined media that were normally separated, such as chalk and oil. Gainsborough was recognized for the fluid brilliance of his brushstroke. By 1768 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London, which was considered quite a feat, as he was the only portraitist who resided outside of London. His main artistic rival was Thomas Reynolds, the consummate professional. Gainsborough was his opposite with a much more easy-going temperament, he was not always punctual in delivering his work. Unlike Reynolds he was not interested in historical or literary themes, for his great passion aside from painting was music. Herein he found a friend in the composer Thomas Linley, who also resided in Bath. This work, which was commissioned by Linley was originally entitled Portrait of Two Young Ladies and was shown at the Royal Academy of Art’s annual exhibition in 1772. Elizabeth and Mary were Linley’s oldest daughters and were talented singers in both Bath and London. Elizabeth had been performing since she was 12 years old and would have been 18 when this work was created. Indeed, by 1772, both sisters were at the pinnacle of their careers. In this work, Gainsborough shows us symbols of their profession. Mary, who is seated, is said to have Tickell’s “A Song of Spring,” which her father set to music, on her lap, while Elizabeth is holding a guitar. In 1772, Elizabeth eloped to France with playwright, Richard Sheridan, however both were underage and had to wait a month to gain father’s consent, which finally came a day after her last public performance. In 1980, Mary married Tickell. Mary gazes precociously towards the viewer, while Elizabeth seems lost in pleasant thoughts. Yet their lives did not end on such a glorious note as this enticing portrait would suggest, for less than twenty years after this portrait was made, they had both died of tuberculosis. E2’s version has Chinese artist, Ran Zhang as Elizabeth Linley and Dutch artist specializing in make-up and wigs, Frederique Nuhaan as Mary Linley. 85
Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Miss Elizabeth Linley Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Gainsborough’s Portrait of Miss Elizabeth Linley, 1775 Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Gainsborough has been called “one of the most individual geniuses in British art.” By the time he was 13, he had shown a talent for landscape painting and was sent to London to study under the French engraver, Gravelot, where he was introduced to the French Rococo style. Gainsborough enjoyed experimenting and often combined media that were normally separated, such as chalk and oil. Gainsborough was recognized for the fluid brilliance of his brushstroke. By 1768 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London, which was considered quite a feat, as he was the only portraitist who resided outside of London. His main artistic rival was Thomas Reynolds, the consummate professional. Gainsborough was his opposite with a much more easy-going temperament, he was not always punctual in delivering his work. Unlike Reynolds he was not interested in historical or literary themes, for his great passion aside from painting was music. Herein he found a friend in the composer Thomas Linley, who also resided in Bath. Gainsborough started painting portraits of his friend’s family in the 1760’s. This oval sized portrait, painted three years after the life-sized portrait with her sister Mary, shows how lovely Elizabeth truly was. Her poise shows a wistful young woman of twenty-one, who appears modest and unassuming even though she was considered the best soprano of her day. Having eloped in 1772 with the playwright, Richard Sheridan, her father only consented to the marriage in April 1773. Within a month of her marriage, she had sung for the King, George III, who reportedly told her father that he’d never heard such a fine voice. Although her husband forbade her to sing in public after her father’s approval for the marriage, he was not above parading their courtship on the stage in his comedy The Rivals. Elizabeth gave birth to a son in 1775 and cracks started appearing in their marriage. Indeed her husband had a long affair with Lady Duncannon. By 1790, Elizabeth had fallen in love with the much younger Lord Edward Fitzgerald, to whom she bore a child in 1792. Elizabeth died later that year of tuberculosis. In E2’s version of Elizabeth Linley, Chinese artist Ran Zhang portrays the grace and beauty for which Elizabeth was known. 87
Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of the Honorable Frances Duncombe Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Gainsborough’s Portrait of the Honorable Frances Duncombe, 1777 The Frick Collection, New York Gainsborough has been called “one of the most individual geniuses in British art.” By the time he was 13, he had shown a talent for landscape painting and was sent to London to study under the French engraver, Gravelot, where he was introduced to the French Rococo style. Gainsborough enjoyed experimenting and often combined media that were normally separated, such as chalk and oil. Gainsborough was recognized for the fluid brilliance of his brushstroke. By 1768 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London, which was considered quite a feat, as he was the only portraitist who resided outside of London. In this beautiful fancy-dress portrait, we see the Honorable Frances Duncombe at age twenty. The work shows Gainsborough’s admiration for Van Dyck, showing clothing like the tight bodice and hooped skirt, which are reminiscent of the previous century. Probably commissioned by the Earl of Radnor, who had bought other paintings from Gainsborough as their grandeur complemented his Old Master Collection this full-length work has a fairytale quality. Frances gazes to the right with a slight tilt of her chin, her wide blue skirt has been pulled back to reveal an ivory underskirt as she delicately points her foot. A year later, she married John Bowater, who gambled her fortune away, eventually ending up in debtor’s prison. Again we see an aristocratic woman at the height of her beauty and full of promise, whose poor choice in husband seals her fate. As we take in the beauty of these fanciful portraits, we are reminded that a life or lifestyle that looks so full of promise may be easily stripped away.
Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Anne, Countess of Chesterfield Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Gainsborough’s Portrait of Anne, Countess of Chesterfield, 1778 Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles Gainsborough has been called “one of the most individual geniuses in British art.” By the time he was 13, he had shown a talent for landscape painting and was sent to London to study under the French engraver, Gravelot, where he was introduced to the French Rococo style. Gainsborough enjoyed experimenting and often combined media that were normally separated, such as chalk and oil. Gainsborough was recognized for the fluid brilliance of his brushstroke. By 1768 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London, which was considered quite a feat, as he was the only portraitist who resided outside of London. When this work was made in the same year that Gainsborough painted the famous courtesan, Grace Dalrymple Elliot, both works received critique. The brush strokes were unfinished, but perhaps it is this quality, which leaves Anne’s dress unresolved that adds to the allure. Some have likened this quality to a metaphoric undressing of the Countess, who was the daughter of a reverend hence such a rendering was thought to add spice to her countenance. With these unfinished strokes, Gainsborough engages the viewer in a tactile way. Not only does Gainsborough seem to capture each woman’s feelings, but the works also invite a prelude to something more. In so doing, Gainsborough’s portraits play with the dynamics linking a woman’s sensuality and social standing in the world of Georgian London. This work which has Frederique Nuhaan as the sitter should be seen as a diptych together with Gainsborough’s portrait of Grace D. Elliot.
Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliot Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Gainsborough’s Portrait of Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliot, 1778 Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Gainsborough has been called “one of the most individual geniuses in British art.” By the time he was 13, he had shown a talent for landscape painting and was sent to London to study under the French engraver, Gravelot, where he was introduced to the French Rococo style. Gainsborough enjoyed experimenting and often combined media that were normally separated, such as chalk and oil. Gainsborough was recognized for the fluid brilliance of his brushstroke. By 1768 he became one of the founding members of the Royal Academy in London, which was considered quite a feat, as he was the only portraitist who resided outside of London. So while the daughter of a reverend is spiced up, notorious courtesan Grace Dalrymple Elliot, is spiced down. Indeed, Mrs. Elliot does not exude sexuality but rather sensibility. She covers her bosom delicately with folds of fabric and doesn’t engage the viewer with her gaze. This portrait was commissioned by Mrs. Elliot’s lover, the marquis of Cholmondeley. Anthony van Dyck’s influence can clearly be seen in the elegant pose, fluid rendering and subtle colors in the work. In the decade after this life-sized work was made it was thought to be so cleverly animated that one might mistake it for real life. E2’s version has Chinese artist Ran Zhang portraying the famous courtesan. She, too, evokes a sense of Marie Antoinette.
Ode to Fragonard’s The Bolt Shot in Amsterdam in 2012 Inspired by Jean-Honore Fragonard’s The Bolt, 1778 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Jean-Honore Fragonard was the most well known pupil of Boucher. He won the Prix de Rome in 1752. Famous for his scenes of frivolity, which captured the ‘fragrant essence’ of aristocratic life in the 18th century, Fragonard’s work embodied the spirit of Rococo. He was a genius in portraying the type of semi-erotic scenes that were favored before the French Revolution. While Fragonard seems to have charmed the aristocracy in Paris with his work, the leading thinkers of the time were not so enthusiastic. French philosopher Diderot, charged Fragonard with being frivolous, stating that he should show, “a little more self-respect.” Fragonard painted this work upon returning from his second trip to Italy. There he spent a lot of time studying the work of the Baroque masters, including Rubens and Rembrandt. Their influence can be seen in his ability to master light and shade, as well as to depict the texture of the materials in fine detail. The Bolt simmers with sexuality and symbolism. We see Eve’s temptation and subsequent fall, alluded to with the apple on the table. This work which has been compared to Titian’s Sacred and Profane Love, is much more overt, oozing with sexual urgency. The woman feigns to fight off her lover, yet the scene in the bedroom makes it look as if they have already been tumbling—a chair is turned over, with its legs in the air. The bed is overly present, taking up most of the left composition of the work. In E2’s interpretation, one woman is seducing the other. The woman bolting the door has taken off her gown and is wearing delicate pantaloons. She is holding her lover tight, about to ravish her. In portraying two women as passionate lovers, E2 calls into question the stereotype about sexual orientation.
Ode to Fragonard’s Stolen Kiss Shot in Amsterdam in 2013 Inspired by Jean-Honore Fragonard’s Stolen Kiss, 1788 Collection of the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg Jean-Honore Fragonard was the most well known pupil of Boucher. He won the Prix de Rome in 1752. Famous for his scenes of frivolity, which captured the ‘fragrant essence’ of aristocratic life in the 18th century, Fragonard’s work embodied the spirit of Rococo. He was a genius in portraying the type of semi-erotic scenes that were favored before the French Revolution. By 1767 he was making almost all of his work for private patrons, including Louis XV’s most loved mistress, Mme du Barry. But his light-hearted style was already becoming outdated and Mme du Barry replaced his work with that of Vien. While he escaped the terror with his life, the French Revolution marked the end of his career. By 1792, he seems to have given up painting. David, who had been helped by Fragonard earlier in his career, helped Fragonard find an administrative job at the newly opened Louvre, where he worked until 1800. Although Fragonard lived another six years in obscurity, he left his mark on other artists, from his sister-in-law, marguerite Gerard, who was one of the best female artists of her time to his greatgranddaughter, Berthe Morisot, who painted with Manet in the decades that followed. The Stolen Kiss, which depicts a young man in the act of stealing a kiss, is a tale of innocent love. As the boy temps the young girl with a brief kiss, she is torn between wanting to surrender to his affection and pulling back. As she leans into the kiss, she turns back to look at the matrons in the room next to her. The girl is full of contradictions—while a part of her yearns for pleasure, she doesn’t dare to fully give in to her obvious desire. She is torn and the work simmers with that possibility—will she or won’t she? She is the perfect example of the coquette—her dress, body language and behavior is all focused on attracting men, yet will she follow through? Fragonard was a master at capturing this coquettish behavior, yet this mastery also proved to be his artistic downfall. E2 portrays this scene with two women, the one luring the other into a kiss full of promise and passion.
Ode to Suvee’s The Invention of the art of Drawing Shot in 2012 in Verona together with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Joseph Benoit Suvee’s The Invention of the Art of Drawing, 1791 Collection of Groenige Museum, Bruges After studying with Matthias de Visch in Bruges, Suvee went to Paris to study. Although not French, he still entered the famous Prix de Rome competition with the theme “The fight between Minerva and Mars” and on Aug. 31st, 1771, he was chosen as the winner, over Jacques Louis David. This sparked a rivalry with David that did not bode well for Suvee. From 1773-78 Suvee studied at the French Academy in Rome and started teaching there in 1782. He was named the Academy’s Director in 1792, however he was only able to start his commission in 1801 as he was imprisoned in Paris’ Saint-Lazare prison. Suvee achieved everything that an artist could achieve in his time bringing artists to Bruges and having them play a leading role in the city for first time in centuries. Suvee died in Rome in 1807, while serving as the Director of the Academy. The Invention of the art of Drawing, created in 1791, is considered Suvee’s masterpiece and has a truly theatrical quality. Based on Pliny’s Historica Naturalis, in which Pliny writes about Dibutades, the daughter of a Corinthian Potter, who draws her lover’s shadow in her father’s pottery studio. The work is of special artistic value and was donated to the Academy in Bruges by Suvee in 1799. E2 changes the position of Dibutades’ lover’s face in this rendition, emphasizing the romantic gesture that a work can exude over the reality of the line, bringing into question what reality really is. Is it what we see or what we experience? This piece was created with photographer Mauro Fiorese in his home in Verona.
Remaking Marat Shot in 2011 in New Orleans Inspired by David’s Death of Marat, 1793 Collection of Musees Royaux des Beaux-Arts, Brussels Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825) was a Neoclassical painter and political activist during the French Revolution. David firmly believed the arts should educate the public and give expression to their ideals. The subject of David’s painting, Jean-Paul Marat, was a leader of the Revolution and a friend of David’s. Marat suffered from a painful and irritating skin disease, which required him to frequently immerse himself in a medicinal bath. During one of these baths in 1793 a rival revolutionary, Charlotte Corday, gained entry to his residence stabbed him to death. In Death of Marat, David depicts the poverty and simplicity in which Marat lived and worked. The figure has a ghostly, compelling quality, intended to keep alive the memory of a great revolutionary martyr. The letter by which his murderer gained admittance is still resting – in a grip of death – in Marat’s hand. In Remaking Marat, E2 has E Paul Julien posing as Marat, who has been stabbed with a cake cutter.
Remembering the Revolution: Corday kills Marat Shot in 2012, Amsterdam Inspired by Portrait of Charlotte Corday, anon French School, ca 1793 Collection of Musée Carnavalet, Paris On July 17th, 1793 Charlotte Corday was executed for the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat on July 13th. Marat was a radical Jacobin leader and publisher and was responsible for the death of many Girondins, with whom Corday sympathized. As the Jacobins became more radical, Corday began to sympathize with the Girondin whom she thought would save France. The violence which had been ignited during the September massacres, only continued to grow. She held Marat responsible for this and decided that the only way to stop the reign of terror was to kill the most radical of radicals, Marat. She believed that he was threatening the Republic and hoped that in killing Marat, the violence would end. Indeed, at her trial she stated, “I have killed one man to save a hundred thousand.” On July 9th she left Caen and went to Paris, with a copy of Plutarch’s Parallel Lives in hand. She bought a kitchen knife with a blade of six inches and wrote an address to the French people explaining her motives for assassinating Marat. After going to the National Assembly to find Marat, she discovered that he no longer attended meetings. She arrived at his home before noon on July 13th, claiming to know of a Girondist uprising in Caen. She was turned away, but came back again in the evening. Marat let her in, but due to a debilitating skin condition, he went back to his tub, where he had been conducting most of his affairs. After Marat wrote down the names of the Girondists, she pulled out the knife, plunging it into his chest. Killing Marat did not stop either the Jacobins or the Terror. In fact, Marat became a martyr, and his bust ended up replacing the religious statues and crucifixes, which had been banished during the new regime. In E2’s rendition, Frederique Nuhaan portrays Corday while Epaul Julien is again Marat.
Ode to Goya’s Maya Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam. Background illustrated by Marco Ventura Inspired by Francisco de Goya y Lucientes’ The Nude Maya, 1797-98 Collection of Prado, Madrid While Titian’s work may have influenced Goya, Goya’s work went on the become the source of inspiration for a century of artists to come, in particular for French artists. The uproar caused by the Venus of Urbino was also caused by the Nude Maya, which has been referred to as “one of the most disconcerting images in all art, in which the exaltation of life in the feminine being is triumphant” (source Prado Madrid, Great Museums of the World publication). The Naked Maya is Goya’s most controversial painting and though there were ways to make it less provocative and profane for the audience, for example by giving her a more romantic or stylized quality, Goya clearly refrained from portraying her in an idealized fashion. Adding fuel to the fire, her unblinking eye, which stared at the viewer in a statement of defiance, was precisely what unleashed the critics. The work was seen as obscene and was confiscated, together with the Clothed Maya, by the Spanish Inquisition in 1813. Both works were owned by Manuel de Godoy, the Prime Minister of Spain, who fell from grace in 1808 when all of his property was seized by Ferdinand VII. It is disputed whether Maya was Pepita Tudó, the Prime Minister’s mistress, or the Duchess of Alba, with whom Goya was rumored to have had an affair. What E2 does is combine the two images: the Clothed Maya and Naked Maya, using a see-through chemise.
Portrait of a White Woman Shot in 2011 in New Orleans Inspired by Marie-Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman, 1800 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Marie Guillemine Benoist’s Portrait of a Black Woman is one of the few portraits of a black person in the Louvre. That the portrait was painted by a woman, makes it all the more unusual, however, right after the French Revolution, a period opened up in which the educated women in France began to write and paint and often used their work as social commentary. The aim was to show that while equality may have graced their male counterparts, it had yet to be conferred on other minorities, including women and people of color. Marie Guillemine Benoist, born Marie Guillemine Leroulx-Delaville, was an aristocrat, who belonged to a small circle of professional women painters. This work was shown in the famous Paris Salon in 1800 and received considerable recognition. The negro lady sits upright with a white cloth draped across her chest, exposing her right breast. She doesn’t seem to look directly at the viewer and from the expression on her face, it is difficult to grasp what she is thinking. E2 has redone this image and puts focus on the title, renaming it, Portrait of a White Woman, to emphasize the fact that western society expects a portrait to be of a white person. In fact, when you hear focus being made to the skin color, you might feel uneasy and yet, you may not be able to put your finger on why it makes you feel uncomfortable. As the model’s right breast is laid bare, so too, you may feel exposed in being so (narrowly) defined.
Ode to Baron Gérard’s portrait of Mme Récamier Shot in Amsterdam in January 2013 Inspired by Gérard’s Portrait of Mme Récamier, 1805 Collection Museum Carnavalet, Paris Born in Rome in 1770 to an officer of the French Embassy and his Italian wife, François Gérard grew up in Rome until the age of twelve. Although his family moved to Paris in 1782, his love for Italian art had a clear influence on his work. At sixteen Gérard entered David’s studio, where he became one of David’s favorite students. In 1789 he entered the Prix de Rome but his friend, Girodet won the prize that year. The following year Gérard’s father died and he went to Rome to marry his mother’s youngest sister. When he returned the following year, he was impoverished. David helped him, not only taking him into his studio to work on portraits but also requesting that he would become a member of the tribunal. In 1794 Gérard won the first prize in a competition about the storming of the Tuileries Palace. By 1799 he’d established himself as one of the most important portrait painters of Paris. A prolific painter, Gérard showed around eight works at the Salon of 1808 and fourteen in 1810. After the Restoration, he became court painter to Louis XVIII. While Gérard created historical and mythological works based on David’s Neoclassical style, he is most well known for his portraits due to their naturalism and ability to bring his sitter’s character to light, which is certainly the case for this portrait of Mme Récamier. This work was created in 1805 when Mme Récamier was 27 years old. In fact, in 1800 David had started a portrait of her. Because she was not pleased by it, she asked Gérard to paint her as well. Incensed by this rebuff, David refused to finish the painting or give it back to her, allegedly stating, “Madame, ladies have their caprices; so do painters. Allow me to satisfy mine; I shall keep your portrait in its present state.” And so it was kept just like this until David’s death in 1826, upon which time, it was purchased by the state and has been in the Louvre ever since. Again, Chinese artist Ran Zhang has been able to effortlessly portray the presence of this famous sitter.
Ode to Ingres’ Valpinçon Bather Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Ingres’ Valpinçon Bather, 1808 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Ingres, who moved to Paris in 1797 to study in David’s studio, was David’s most renowned pupil. He won the Prix de Rome at the young age of 21 in 1801, but only left for Italy in 1806 because of the political situation in France. While Ingres was in Rome, he became inspired by scenes of bathing women and in 1808 he painted Valpinçon Bather. This theme was to resonate with him throughout his career, for in 1863, more than fifty years after he’d painted the Valpinçon Bather, he painted Turkish Bath. Ingres came back to Paris in 1824, where he remained for 10 years, receiving the success he’d craved. Celebrated for his bold use of color, mastery of technique and understanding of the female character, Ingres, who led a very bourgeiois life, was still seen to have, ‘personal obsessions and mannerisms’ that made him such a great artist. Baudelaire remarked that his works ‘are the product of a deeply sensuous nature.’ However, in 1834, when his work, Martyrdom of St. Symphorium, was poorly received at the Salon, Ingres accepted the position of Director to the French Academy in Rome, a position he held through 1840. While he had scores of admiring pupils, Chasseriau was the only one to attain distinction. E2’s version not only has an African American sitter, but also someone who looks very androgynous, hence playing not only with the idea of racial stereotypes but also that of sexuality.
Ode to Bossi’s Self-Portrait
with Gaetano Cattaneo, Carlo Porta and Giuseppe Taverna Shot in 2012 in Verona together with Mauro Fiorese Inspired by Giuseppe Bossi’s Self-Portrait with Gaetano Cattaneo, Carlo Porta and Giuseppe Taverna, 1809 Collection of Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan Giuseppe Bossi was a leading figure in neoclassical Milan in the beginning of the 19th century. Not only was Bossi a painter, but he was also a poet who had many connections with the leading literary figures of his day. At the young age of 23, Bossi was elected to the honored post of secretary to the Brera Academy, whose collection of paintings, entitled the Pinacoteca he essentially founded. In so doing, Bossi reorganized the Brera to become more in line with our modern idea of an art institute— not only a place to educate artists, but perhaps more importantly, a place for the education of public taste. Bossi’s skill as a portraitist is evident in this self-portrait, finished in 1809, as is his links to the leading figures of his time. E2 has added women posing as Bossi’s friends in the background.
Ode to Ingres’ Grande Odalisque Shot in 2013 in New Orleans Inspired by Ingres’ Grande Odalisque, 1814 Collection of Louvre, Paris Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres moved to Paris in 1797 to study in David’s studio and was David’s most renowned pupil. He won the Prix de Rome at the young age of 21 in 1801, but only left for Italy in 1806 because of the political situation in France. Ingres came back to Paris in 1824, where he remained for 10 years, receiving the success he’d craved. Celebrated for his bold use of color, mastery of technique and understanding of the female character, Ingres, who led a very bourgeois life, was still seen to have, “personal obsessions and mannerisms” that made him such a great artist. Baudelaire remarked that his works “are the product of a deeply sensuous nature.” In this painting we see a languid concubine from a harem (an odalisque) reclining in a lavish interior. While the viewer may equate this work with that of Titian’s Venus, her elongated back is more reminiscent of Parmigianio’s Madonna with the long neck. In this work, Ingres is thought to break with the Neoclassical tradition and start leaning towards Romanticism. Indeed, we see a romanticized glimpse of the Orient, with the fan, hash or opium pipe and turban. And yet, are we also seeing social commentary? What does Ingres apparent distortion of the female body, in which he adds five extra vertebrae, mean? Some critics say it emphasizes her use to the sultan, while others believe it suggests the sitter’s complex psychological make-up. Regardless of the meaning, the image is an arresting one. E2’s version shows quite another sitter, one with a short backside and extra layers of skin around her mid-drift. While a woman with a voluptuous body would have been the ideal of beauty in both Titian and Ingres’ time, the narrow definition that we give to beauty, means that this sitter would probably be judged as chubby or fat by today’s standards. Yet it is this judgment that has brought about diseases such as anorexia. E2’s rendition of Ingres’ famous work calls into question our current thoughts of beauty.
Ode to Ingres’ Raphael and the Fornarina Shot in Amsterdam in January 2013 Inspired by Ingres’ Raphael and the Fornarina, 1814 Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres moved to Paris in 1797 to study in David’s studio and was David’s most renowned pupil. He won the Prix de Rome at the young age of 21 in 1801, but only left for Italy in 1806 because of the political situation in France. Ingres came back to Paris in 1824, where he remained for 10 years, receiving the success he’d craved. Celebrated for his bold use of color, mastery of technique and understanding of the female character, Ingres, who led a very bourgeiois life, was still seen to have, “personal obsessions and mannerisms” that made him such a great artist. Baudelaire remarked that his works “are the product of a deeply sensuous nature.” In this work, Ingres pays homage to Raphael who for years was thought to have painted his lover in the Fornarina, a work, which is now attributed to his student Giulio Romano and resides at the Galleria Borghese in Rome. Following a tradition of painting the lives of great artists, which was started in the late eighteenth century, Ingres planned to paint a number of scenes about Raphael’s life, from birth to death. The only scenes that Ingres actually painted concerned his relationship with women, including his love for a baker’s daughter, Margherita Luti, the woman portrayed in the Fornarina. In this work we see Raphael in his studio at the moment in which he was thought to be painting Margherita. We are presented with a Renaissance environment. In the foreground, a footstool, bench and easel with columns in the distance. In the background, we see a clock is set at 1:30, so we imagine he’s just taken a break from painting. Ingres’ hint of seductiveness is ever present, as Raphael’s famed lover appears to embrace and withdraw from him simultaneously. Wearing a bracelet that has Raphael’s name on it, she looks out at the viewer, while Raphael looks toward his easel, contemplating what to do next. He holds his lover towards him, yet it is the canvas that really draws his attention as he holds a paintbrush that has recently been dabbed in red paint in the other hand. Ingres tries to reconstruct Raphael in as truthful a manner as possible by using Raphael’s self-portrait in the Uffizi, which he had copied. E2’s rendition shows two women in this well-known embrace, calling into question stereotypes about sexual preference.
Ode to Amans’ Creole with a Red Headdress Shot in 2012 in New Orleans Inspired by Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans’ Creole with a Red Headdress, ca 1840 Collection of the Historic New Orleans Collection, New Orleans Jacques Guillaume Lucien Amans was a French Neoclassical portraitist who worked in New Orleans in the 1840s and 1850s. Born in Maastricht, when it was still part of the French empire, Amans showed his worked at the Paris Salon between1831 and 1837. The influence of both David and Ingres’ Neoclassical style are clear in his work. Together with Vaudechamp, Amans sailed to Louisiana to paint portraits of gentry in 1837. When Vaudechamp left Louisiana in 1839, Amans took over as the state’s most celebrated portrait painter. Indeed, he was so famous that in 1840 he painted president Andrew Jackson. In 1856 Amans moved back to France and never came back to Louisiana. This portrait, Creole in a Red Headdress, was created around the same time as that of Andrew Jackson. In 2011 the Historic New Orleans Collection purchased it and wrote that the portrait not only defies ethnicity and race but also gender distinctions. Indeed it was that aspect of this piece, which compelled E2 to remake the work. Earlier that year, E2 had remade Ingres’ Valpincon Bather with a sitter who defied gender distinctions and it when they read the history of Creole in a Red Headdress, they decided to invite the same sitter to pose.
Ode to Chasserieau’s the Sisters Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by Theodore Chasserieau’s The Sisters, 1843 Collection of the Louvre, Paris Chassériau was considered one of the most important French figurative painters of the nineteenth century, with his style forming a bridge between the Neoclassicism of Ingres and the Romanticism of Delacroix. He began training at the age of 10 with Ingres, who markedly influenced him. Chassériau frequently used his siblings, especially his sisters, as models for drawing and painting. As a young man, his relationship to his sisters, Aline and Adèle, has been described as so close as to have been “almost amorous”. E2’s version has half-Thai, half-Norwegian artist, Marit Silsand posing with Frederique Nuhaan as his sisters.
Ode to Ingres’ the Countess Haussonville Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, Comtesse d’Haussonville, 1845 The Frick Collection, New York Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres moved to Paris in 1797 to study in David’s studio and was David’s most renowned pupil. He won the Prix de Rome at the young age of 21 in 1801, but only left for Italy in 1806 because of the political situation in France. Ingres came back to Paris in 1824, where he remained for 10 years, receiving the success he’d craved. Thereafter Ingres went back to Rome to become the Director of the French Academy. Celebrated for his bold use of color and mastery of technique, Ingres had a deep understanding of the female character. Said to have led a very bourgeois life, Ingres was still seen to have, “personal obsessions and mannerisms” that made him such a great artist. Baudelaire remarked that his works “are the product of a deeply sensuous nature.” This portrait of Louise, Princesse de Broglie, whose husband was a diplomat, writer and a member of the French Academy, was begun in 1842, as part of a series of aristocratic portraits that he created through 1853. The Princesse was accomplished in her own right, as she published a number of books including one on Lord Byron. According to Ingres himself, the work received a ‘storm of approval’ when it was finished in 1845. E2’s version uses a model from the Caribbean to portray the Comtesse.
Ode to Dyce’s Paolo and Francesca Shot in Amsterdam, December 2012 Inspired by William Dyce’s Paolo and Francesca, 1845 Collection of The National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh Born in Aberdeen in 1806, William Dyce was a Scottish painter, designer and even administrator, who spent the bulk of his career in London. Dyce made two trips to Italy in the 1820’s and was influenced by Italy Renaissance painting, especially from the Nazarre region. In addition to being an artist, Dyce was also an accomplished musician as well as a writer on subjects including antiquities as well as electromagnetism. Dyce moved to London in 1837 to work in the Royal College of Art, which had just been founded. He undertook trips to both France and Germany to study their methods of teaching art. His report on these findings led to his being appointed as the Director of the School in 1840. Although he resigned three years later, it is said that there were no major art projects of that time, in which he was not involved. Known for his firm outlines, strong colors and naturalistic detail, this work is evidence of that trademark. Dyce’s Paolo and Francesca was inspired by Dante’s epic poem The Inferno, in which Francesca, a young woman, is married off to an elderly husband, Giancotto. Attracted to his younger brother, Paolo, they fall in love but Giancotto surprises the lovers, murdering them. A hint to this tragic outcome is suggested by a hand, which is placed on the left of the seated lovers. In fact, Giancotto’s full form was originally included, yet the canvas was damaged in 1882 and had to be trimmed, which is why only Giancotto’s hand remains. In E2’s portrayal of this scene, we see Dutch artist Frederique Nuhaan as Paolo, leaning in to kiss the check of Francesca, portrayed by Chinese artist, Ran Zhang. In so doing E2 calls to question stereotypes about sexual orientation.
Ode to Hayez’ the Kiss Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by Francesco Hayez’ The Kiss, 1859 Collection of Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan Hayez’ The Kiss is one of the most notorious paintings to show lovers’ caught in a deep embrace. It is a work that evokes a sense of intense romantic passion. Hayez, born in 1791, considered The Kiss to be one of his best compositions, for he brought together the main characteristics of Italian Romanticism, namely naturalness and sentiment. Indeed, the great sensuality that exudes from the lovers’ embrace can be linked to the fact that the model, Carolina Zucchi, was also Hayez’ lover. The Kiss was presented at the Exhibition of Brera in 1859, only three months after the triumphal entrance of Vittorio Emanuele II and Napoleon III in Milan. This event cannot be underestimated in the influence it had on the image, as the colors that Hayez used represented the alliance between France and Italy. This alliance, otherwise known as the Plombiéres Agreement, marked the ending of the Second War of Independence and the birth of the Italian nation. E2 takes the original image and adds a subtle twist, depicting two lovers of different races, one white and one black, in a deep embrace.
Olympia Pinging Shot in 2011 in New Orleans Inspired by Édouard Manet’s Olympia, 1863 Collection of Musée D’Orsay, Paris Manet, who was drawn to art of the past, gained experience as a painter by copying Old Masters at the Louvre. He was inspired to create a modern and ironic reincarnation of the works he had studied and copied: Titan’s Venus of Urbino, Goya’s Nude Maya, and Ingres’ Odalisque. Manet aimed to portray the two traditional figures, the odalisque and the slave, in a way as to poke fun at the bourgeousie of the time. When Manet’s Olympia was exhibited at Le Salon des Refuses in 1865, it caused even more outrage than Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe shown two years before. Olympia’s impudent stare provoked the viewer, for it showed that the model (a well known person and not a idealized form) was not afraid of her sexuality. Compared to Titian’s Venus of Urbino, in which Titian’s Venus holds roses in her right hand to refer to her sexual interest, Olympia has a flower in her hair. Manet substituted Titan’s dog, a symbol of loyalty, for a cat, which is a French slang for the very thing that Olympia is concealing with her hand. The painting immediately created a scandal. Indeed, one critic wrote of the work, “art sunk so low does not even deserve reproach.” Although he was seen as the leader of the Impressionist avant-guard, his upper middle-class roots and need for acceptance, held him back from fully embracing his modernist vision. E2’s version has an African American model holding a smart phone. The phone was of significance as five minutes before the shoot, she received a message that her brother had been injured in a military operation. Without knowing whether he was dead or alive, she decided to continue with the shoot as she found the subject matter of challenging stereotypes very compelling.
Ode to Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe Shot in 2011 in New Orleans and Amsterdam Inspired by Édouard Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe, 1863 Collection of Musée D’Orsay, Paris Édouard Manet, who came from a comfortable middle class Parisian background, longed for recognition but he was labeled a rebel him due to his unconventional ideas. While Manet trained under Couture from 1850-56, his style was more influenced by the old masters, which he studied at the Louvre. Manet’s Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe was rejected by the famous Academy, and so it was shown at Le Salon des Refuses in 1863. At that time it caused one of the greatest upheavals in the art world, causing the viewers to riot and even threaten to destroy the building. Why was this painting so controversial? Not because the woman was naked but rather because she was shown with two men who were fully clothed in contemporary dress. She too, stares at the viewer in a challenging manner. To make matters worse, she was a known person and not an idealized version of Venus. Indeed, Victorine Meurand, was one of Manet’s favorite models. Her soul-piercing stare was exactly the same type of look, which had gotten Titian and Goya into trouble. And who were the men? It is widely thought that they were his brother, Eugene and his future brother-in-law, Ferdinand Leenhoff. E2 changes the male-female roles in this work, so that the man is naked, surrounded by two women dressed in man’s clothes and an idealized version of a woman in the water behind the picnic.
Ode to Courbet’s the Sleep Shot in 2013 in New Orleans Inspired by Gustave Courbet’s The Sleep, 1866 Collection of the Petit Palace, Paris Courbet was born in 1819 at Omans, close to the Swiss border, the son of a prosperous farmer. Although most of his career was spent in Paris, Cezanne (accent to right on e) noted that ‘his palette smells of hay.’ In 1839 he moved to Paris where he spent hours copying the work of famous naturalists such as Caravaggio and Velázquez. It is from these artists that he obtained a heavy style with strong contrast between light and shade. The Sleep was commissioned by Ottoman diplomat Khalil-Bey. In the original work a blond and brunette are shown holding each other in a close embrace. The dark-haired beauty with a more muscular body and chiseled features protectively embraces the more fragile blond beauty. She is stretched out with her right arm falling back as her lover nestles against her shoulder, as a woman would with a man. The work exudes an intimacy between the women with their intertwined bodies that was forbidden, all the more because the perspective draws the viewer in as if they are not watching a scene but taking part in it. And yet, the lovers are absorbed in their own voluptuousness, totally unaware of the viewer, in contrast to Manet’s Olympia in which she insolently rebukes the viewer with her gaze, not promising abandon but rather ultimate control. Interestingly, the Sleep was bought from Khalil-Bey by one of Manet’s friends, Jean-Baptiste Faure, who also was the first owner of Dejeuner sur l’herbe. E2’s rendition shows two burlesque performers of different races snuggled together. The dark-haired beauty again has a more muscular body and is stretched out as her more fragile lover leans against her.
Ode to Courbet’s the Desperate Man Shot in 2013 in New Orleans Inspired by Gustave Courbet’s The Desperate Man, 1844-5 Private Collection Courbet was born in 1819 at Omans, close to the Swiss border, the son of a prosperous farmer. Although most of his career was spent in Paris, Cézanne noted that ‘his palette smells of hay.’ In 1839 he moved to Paris where he spent hours copying the work of famous naturalists such as Caravaggio and Velázquez. It is from these artists that he obtained a heavy style with strong contrast between light and shade. This painting is the most mysterious of his youthful self-portraits, which Courbet had entitled Despair. The work remains a mystery for we do not know whether Courbet is depicting his own despair or the despair of another. Commentators on Courbet have noted that he had a very jovial personality with lots of joie de vivre. Yet, he was also known to have periods of severe melancholy. By the time this work was finished, he had exhausted himself with work in preparing for a submission to the esteemed Paris Salon. He said that he was “very tired, physically and mentally,” which stopped him from working. By 1954, he started to let down his guard, revealing his inner struggles with his patron Alfred Bruyas, saying, “Behind the laughing mask that you are familiar with…I hide, deep down, grief, bitterness, and a sorrow that clings to my heart like a vampire.” Some say that this work was created at a key moment in his life, a time in which he was letting go of the romantic education that he’d learned not knowing whether this would lead him into the abyss, but none the less feeling the need to shake off all that was not his own. Do we see Courbet at the peak of crisis, shedding the innocence of youth and searching for a way out? Similar to the original piece, E2’s rendition shows Epaul Julien at the grip of despair and anguish.
Ode to Breitnerâ€™s Girl in the Red Kimono Shot in 2011 in Amsterdam Inspired by George Hendrik Breitnerâ€™s Girl in a Red Kimono, 1893-4 Collection of Stedelijk, Amsterdam The Girl in a Red Kimono was made by Dutch painter George Hendrik Breitner in 1893-4. Breitner is known for his loose impressionist-style brush strokes on canvas. He saw himself as a painter of the working class and therefore chose his models from the working class neighborhood of Amsterdam called the Jordaan. In addition to his well-known portraits of cities, especially Amsterdam, he also received great renown for his series of kimono girls. Breitner used the same model, Geesje Kwak, a sixteen year old shop assistant from the Jordaan. First Brietner would make photographs of her in a kimono, which he later used as the basis of his paintings (from 1885). Therafter, he experimented with the photo on canvas, though he never tried to make exact copies. E2 turns around the process by making a photo of the painting, which he created in 1893-4.
Elizabeth Kleinveld is a self-taught artist and photographer from New Orleans, who spent a year documenting the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In 2007, Kleinveld shifted her focus to flowers, finding inspiration from the vibrant colors of exotic flowers and their reflection in water, which gives her work an abstract and painterly quality. Her work (photography and mixed media) has been exhibited in the United States Senate, New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA), the Louisiana State Museum, the Colorado Fine Arts Center, DiverseWorks in Houston, A Gallery in Hong Kong, Royal Delft Museum in Delft, Waternoodmuseum in Zeeland, the United States Embassy in The Hague and the Dutch Embassy in Washington, D.C. Her Katrina series has been catalogued in NOMA’s Katrina Exposed book (2006), in the Road to Peace show in The Hague’s City Hall (2007), in ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So,’ an exhibition with Dutch poet Rogi Wieg (2008) and Before (During) After: Louisiana Photographers Visual Reactions to Hurricane Katrina (2010, University of New Orleans Press). Her most recent work, together with New Orleans artist and photographer, E Paul Julien, is a series of portraits developed under the artist name E2. Work from this series has been shown at the Milan Image Art Fair, PH-Neutro in Verona, the Ogden Museum and CAC in New Orleans and the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague. Kleinveld’s work has been covered by the Sunday Times, Washington Post, Houston Chronicle, Volkskrant, Trouw, Tableau, More than Classic, Elegance and various other publications. Her work is held in museums and private collections in the United States, Europe and Asia.
E Paul Julien is a self taught artist who began his career as a fine art photographer in 1995 when a near death experience changed his life for ever. Ten years later in August of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans he knew how he was going to navigate the waters. Creating art for him is a necessity. It is a vital part of his existence. In the wake of Katrina he felt abandoned by his photography because he could not pack a giant enlarger, darkroom chemicals and other bulky, cumbersome equipment in one day and evacuate from his beloved city. In exile for six months he decided to use images he salvaged from the storm, his emotions, the changing light, his spirit, and the texture of the world around him to create his new mixed media art. E Paul was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and raised on his families Plantation. Africa Plantation is 45 minutes northwest of New Orleans, on the west bank of the Mississippi River, in the small town of Modeste. For him, Africa Plantation was a spiritual place that put him in touch with nature and stimulated his imagination. As a young child, he would climb to the very top of Africa with his little brother. Under the stars and moon he would tell stories of how he was going to travel around the world. At some point between the time he spent on Africa’s hot tin roof and his father teaching him how to use his Nikon FT2, he began to travel through the world of photography. Since 2005 his journey has taken him to a new world of mixed media, collage and film . Julien’s work (photography and mixed media) has been exhibited in the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Louisiana State Museum, Houston’s DiverseWorks, the Darkroom (New Orleans), Stella Jones Gallery (New Orleans), Arps Gallery (Amsterdam) and DeGalerieDenHaag (the Hague). His Katrina series has been catalogued in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Katrina Exposed (2006). In 2010, the University of New Orleans Press, published the book, Before (During) After: Louisiana Photographers Visual Reactions to Hurricane Katrina, a companion to the international traveling exhibition. Julien’s work has been covered by the Washington Post, Washington Times, Houston Chronicle, Greater Houston Weekly, Louisiana Life Magazine, and many other international newspapers and magazines. His work is held in museums and private collections in the United States and Europe.
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Kleinveld & Julien’s E2 concept Ode to van Eyck’s Portrait of a Man (Self-Portrait?) Ode to Van Eyck’s Arnolfini Marriage Ode to Uccello’s Portrait of a Young Man Ode to Van der Weyden’s Portrait of a Lady Ode to Petrus Christus’ Portrait of a Young Woman Ode to Botticelli’s Portrait of a Man with a Medal of Cosimo the Elder Ode to Memling’s Vanity Ode to Memling’s Diptych with the Allegory of True Love Ode to Da Vinci’s La Belle Ferronnière Ode to Perugino’s Francesco delle Opere I & II (diptych) Ode to de Barbari’s Portrait of Luca Pacioli and a young unknown Ode to the Master of Frankfurt’s Self-Portrait with his Wife Ode to Albrecht Dürer’s Self-portrait, 1496 Ode to Raphael’s Pietro Bembo Ode to Albrecht Durer’s Self-portrait, 1500 Ode to Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus Ode to Metsys’ Moneylenders Ode to Raphael’s Bindo Altoviti Ode to Titian’s Flora Ode to Holbein’s Jane Seymour Ode to Titian’s Venus of Urbino Ode to Bronzino’s Portrait of Bartolomeo Panciatichi Ode to Bronzino’s Portrait of a Young Man Ode to Titian’s Cardinal Farnese Ode to Sofonisba Anguissola’s Self-portrait Ode to Anguissola’s Bernardino Campi Painting Sofonisba Anguissola Ode to Veronese’s La Bella Nani Ode to Veronese’s Portrait of a Man Ode to Veronese’s Lucretia Ode to Veronese’s Penitent Magdalene Ode to the Pinching D’Estrées Sisters Ode to Rubens’ Self-portrait with Isabella Brant Peeter Stevens’ Love Interest Ode to de la Tour’s Penitent Magdalen Ode to Velázquez’ Venus at her Mirror Ode to Velázquez’ Juan de Pareja Ode to Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace Ode to Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring Ode to Rembrandt’s Jewish Bride Ode to Rigaud’s Louis XIV
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Ode to Gainsborough’s The Linley Sisters Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Miss Elizabeth Linley Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of the Honorable Frances Duncombe Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Anne, Countess of Chesterfield Ode to Gainsborough’s Portrait of Mrs. Grace Dalrymple Elliot Ode to Fragonard’s The Bolt Ode to Fragonard’s Stolen Kiss Ode to Suvee’s The Invention of the art of Drawing Remaking Marat Remembering the Revolution: Corday kills Marat Ode to Goya’s Maya Portrait of a White Woman Ode to Baron Gérard’s portrait of Mme Récamier Ode to Ingres’ Valpinçon Bather Ode to Bossi’s Self-Portrait Ode to Ingres’ Grande Odalisque Ode to Ingres’ Raphael and the Fornarina Ode to Amans’ Creole with a Red Headdress Ode to Chasserieau’s the Sisters Ode to Ingres’ the Countess Haussonville Ode to Dyce’s Paolo and Francesca Ode to Hayez’ the Kiss Olympia Pinging Ode to Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’herbe Ode to Courbet’s the Sleep Ode to Courbet’s the Desperate Man Ode to Breitner’s Girl in the Red Kimono Biography Elizabeth Kleinveld Biography E Paul Julien
ALL IMAGES © ELIZABETH KLEINVELD 2013 CONTACT: KATRINAFIED@GMAIL.COM +31 (0) 648495222