Observations: Award-winning young artists master Raphael and Dürer
Friday 13 November 2009
The inaugural winners of the Young Masters Art Prize have been announced – artists Hector de Gregorio and Ghost of a Dream, jointly. They are among 16 artists who were inspired by the Old Masters to create new work. For 35 year-old, Spanish, de Gregorio, this year was already going rather well, with a sell-out Royal Academy graduation show which saw Sir Terence Conran and Theo Fennell snap up his mixed-media work, which reinvents historical paintings by introducing his own new narratives. He digitally photographs his subjects and prints the images onto canvas before treating them heavily with varnishes, oils, and waxes to make them look like weathered, 500 year-old, works.
Fellow winners Ghost of a Dream, Brooklyn-based art duo Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was, based their work on lotteries. They noted that when people won, one of the first things they bought was a new house, so they recreated a period-style room out of discarded lottery tickets, complete with ticket versions of historical portraits including Raphael's The Madonna of the Pinks.
Other artists – who were all discovered by Cynthia Corbett, of the Cynthia Corbett Gallery, on her worldwide travels – have distorted and reinterpreted familiar pieces of work, forcing the viewer to do a double-take. Charlotte Bracegirdle finds old book illustrations of iconic works and paints over them to remove the main characters (look out for the odd floating hand or left limb – very surreal); Lluis Barba adds modern society-darlings such as Kate Moss, Jay Jopling and Brad Pitt into Old Master scenes, while Maisie Broadhead cheekily plays with the meaning of jewellery.
The art is said to confront underlying issues that are relevant today; from Antonia Tibble's Marie Antoinette wigs, which make us think about the role of women now compared with that in the past, to the pillar of playing cards by David Roche, which looks at the hidden chaos of our world, and Constance Slaughter's oil-painting version of the Bayeux Tapestry, which moves the fighting from the battlefield to the kitchen ("the Bayeux Tapestry is the first comic strip in Western art", says Slaughter).
Some have referenced the techniques of the masters – Gemma Anderson name-checks Joachim Patinir, Hans Holbein, and Albrecht Dürer, who all drew from real life, as does she; while others, like Ali Miller, use art history to portray their own history, through personal memories and experiences.
The Young Masters show will be touring in 2010 as part of Corbett Futures www.thecynthiacorbettgallery.com; www.young-masters.co.uk
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally screened after weeks of controversy – but reviews are mixed
Christmas TV guide 2014: The best shows to watch from Doctor Who to Downton Abbey
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food