No oil painting

Blink and you will not miss it. Life imitating art, art imitating life and Nancy Webber imitating both
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The Independent Culture
Are you a lost Leonardo angel? A face that only time has separated from a Pre-Raphaelite canvas? Obvious meat and drink to Hieronymus Bosch? If the roving, unerring eye of Nancy Webber falls upon you, the answer would be beyond doubt. For what appears on these pages are her uncanny creations - famous paintings juxtaposed with her photographs of people she has discovered. A worker at a California YMCA, say, strikes something in her visual memory and when she has finished, he is Paul Gauguin in a hat, to the life.

A university teacher of painting, drawing and film appreciation in southern California, she goes out into the world armed with a photographic memory of thousands of pictures. The thought to do it first came to her when she lived in Florence for a year in the Sixties: the streets seemed to play back the Renaissance faces she saw on gallery walls. The 100 works that she has done in colour (there are many more in black and white) are the product of 20 years.

And how does it feel to be Webberised? It can be an experience of unwonted elation, being connected to the ranks of the eternal. Or unwonted desolation, as it was for the woman who was shown to be a Modigliani incarnate but demanded to be expunged. Or something to cleave to for life: the gentleman with the extraordinary nose (overleaf) was on the point of having an operation on it when Webber caught him. He had the operation afterwards but carried the Webber work with him for the rest of his life.