In a fascinating news story recently, it was revealed that an artist from Peru likes to dress up as his ancestors (both male and female) in painstaking photographic reproductions of his old family portraits. It seems he is obsessed with his noble lineage and so proud of it that he goes to great lengths to recreate historic oil portraits of his forebears, with himself playing the central role.
He probably hasn’t heard of face in hole boards. He could have had the portraits printed onto board, cut out the faces, applied some careful makeup and put his face in the hole to mimic his ancestors. But he’s clearly such a perfectionist that he feels it necessary to recreate the whole painting. Fair enough. It takes all sorts.
The National Self Portrait Gallery is based on a similar idea. We haven’t managed to actually track down the descendants of Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII and the model who sat for the Mona Lisa and get them to pose in reproductions of the famous paintings, but the face in hole format gives anyone the chance to step into historic portraits!
Let’s play spot the difference. Here is Peruvian artist Christian Fuchs posing as his great-great-great-great grandfather next to the original painting:
And here’s an event attendee posing as The Laughing Cavalier in one of the panels of the National Self Portrait Gallery, our pop-up face in hole art gallery:
Can you see the join where his head goes through the hole? No, neither can we! Perfect isn’t it?
The National Self Portrait Gallery consists of several panels of four or five portraits with the faces cut out and a space behind for guests to stand and put their faces through the holes. Hey presto – they become historical figures! Friends and other guests can snap away with their cameras or smartphones and get the results on Instagram, Pinterest or wherever they like.
To find out more about the National Self Portrait Gallery, visit http://www.photocutouts.co.uk/pop-up-art-gallery.htm