Portraits Made From Collaged “Specimens” by Michael Mapes.
Taking hundreds of tiny photographs, gelatin capsules, vials, insect pins, and other “specimens,” artist Michael Mapes collages his own interpretation of renowned dutch portraits. Using the paintings of Rembrandt, Nicolaes Eliasz PIckenoy, and others, Mapes recreates the work in painstaking detail using the tiny fragments and pins.
“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.
In the Dutch Master Portraiture series the collection is largely composed of deconstructed photos of actual paintings, paintings which served to represent human subjects.
My work suggests the meta-relationship of the subject content; it creates a collage of a painting of a person. I also make reference to the artist, dates and genealogy of the subject. Of particular importance is the inclusion of new photos and materials intended to extend the imagined experience of what is captured in the original portrait to suggest the artist’s consideration and processes.”