highly meticulous work by Michael Mapes
New York artist Michael Mapes reinterprets renowned portraits with his uncanny deconstructing method that enlivens through numerous materials. Photographic prints, human hair, dried flowers, gelatin capsules, magnifiers, plastic bags, and insect pins are just a few that Michael uses to complete his extraordinary artwork.
For his collages, Michael deconstructs photos of actual paintings, and then he collects and piles materials — the ‘DNA’— that will be inserted into specimen boxes. By layering and compiling the tiny fragments with pins, he forms a whole that depicts his desired result.
all images by Michael Mapes
Deconstructing renowned portraits into specimen boxes
Michael’s highly meticulous work includes hundreds of photographs, materials, and even biological findings. The utilized specimen boxes remind us of those used in entomological studies. This metaphor of scientific study incorporated into culture represents a way to deconstruct and rebuild the contexts of authentic creations.
From a close distance, the artwork seems to be a series of dissected pixels distinguished for their type and texture. However, observed from afar, the artwork becomes visible, unfolding a well-known portrait.
‘I’ve been making studies, smaller scale works that allow me to consider compositional approaches for larger pieces,’ explains Michael Mapes (see more here) about his series. ‘It connects the past to the present in a very personal way. A muse vibe is inspired by mining art history to find subjects that resonate with me and my work process.’
interpreting figures and fruits through deconstructed compositions
arranging materials into fragmented portraits
utilizinghundreds of collected specimens
pinning foam, canvas, acrylic, photographs, plastic containers, resin, fabric, gel capsules, beads
oil painting on canvas, photographs, insect pins, pinning foam, pill capsules, specimen bags, magnifying boxes, plastic canisters, map pins
artist: Michael Mapes | @mapesstudio
christina petridou I designboom
aug 31, 2022