All through seventeenth and 18th centuries, Europe’s higher lessons entered an period of unprecedented prosperity because of exploding commerce and commerce. The rich sought to specific their standing, and portraiture, which had beforehand been unique to royalty, turned the proper indicator of social rank. In England, these work turned often called Grand Method works, and the Dutch faculty counted well-known names like Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals amongst its cohort, nonetheless charming us at present at sellout exhibitions. For German artist Volker Hermes, this period of artwork historical past offers an limitless supply of inspiration.
Digital photocollages (previously) playfully reimagine the unique sitters in Hermes’ ongoing Hidden Portraits collection. Initially depicted by the likes of Dutch painter Nicolaes Pickenoy or French baroque artist Georges de La Tour, the themes in Hermes’ iterations are overwhelmed by their very own clothes to the purpose of absurdity. Brocade masks cowl one Elizabethan topic’s eyes, luxuriant robes prolong all the best way as much as foreheads, and lace ruffs engulf the wearers’ faces.
Hermes is drawn to particular traits within the unique work, corresponding to ribbons, which “convey historic photos into movement,” he tells Colossal. “For the time being, I’m dealing quite a bit with Rococo, which is presently getting a number of consideration, after being thought of kitsch for a very long time.” Depictions of masculinity all through historical past have additionally emerged as a brand new theme. “I want to draw consideration as soon as once more to antiquated types of masculinity, which truly gave the impression to be outdated, however are presently turning into—sadly—engaging once more for a lot of males,” he says.
By way of July 8, you possibly can go to Hermes’ solo exhibition Ruff Hood at James Freeman Gallery in London. He may even have work within the group exhibition Rococo Insanity! on the National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland, from July 14 by means of January 14, 2024. Discover extra on the artist’s website and Instagram.
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