With hundreds of tiny photographic fragments, gelatin capsules, magnifiers, plastic bags, and insect pins, New York artist Michael Mapes (previously) creates collages that are equal parts portraiture and scientific specimen. For his latest works, Mapes used photographs of paintings by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy, and others as inspiration for large-scale specimen boxes. The deconstructed photos along with myriad other materials have effectively been transformed into a collage of a painting of a person. Of the work Mapes shares:
The samples are part of my most recent series of work examining Dutch Master Portraiture. In this work, I deconstruct the original subject, in both a figurative and literal sense by dissecting photos of a painting and considering ways in which the parts might serve to inspire new parts within the reconstruction to suggest unique and complex meanings. I’ve done these works with the use of a visual metaphor suggesting a pseudoscientific method specifically working with materials and processes signifying entomological, biological and forensic science.
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