AFTER THE MASTERS
The postmodernist approach of re-interpreting iconic pieces of art history has been undertaken by countless significant artists. Behind this impulse is the desire to establish continuity and to reconnect to the tradition of historical models. Alea Pinar Du Pre’s ‘After the Masters’ series is a fascinating new interpretation of exemplary Renaissance paintings, viewed from the perspective of the digital age.
The artist pays respect to the fine craftsmanship of this historical era in executing her work with exceptional attention to detail in a labour-intensive, unique technique. She disrupts the perfect proportions and classical compositions of these time-worn paintings, only to re-compose and revitalise them utilising an illusionist effect.
The underlying thought, which mediates the break and re-establishment of our bond with history, immediately captures the mind of the observer. By intertwining past with present, this series creates a pathway that superimposes the culture of the 21st century’s instant imagery onto a painstakingly hand-crafted past.
Du Pre has chosen some of the defining images of a past in conscious contrast to our experience of the present. These paintings that appear to reflect a more ordered and tranquil world are then infused with the energy of our times: digital, dynamic and disruptive. In the thick of experiencing the fourth industrial revolution and the uncertainties of the environmental crises and post-truth politics, she traces the paths of our past to seek clues to our future as humans.
“These days we are more and more severed from our collective past. I feel that this estrangement brings with it a big loss and by that I don’t mean the esthetical apprehension of the past, but a loss of wisdom, maturity and identity.”
‘After the Masters’ playfully builds a new bridge between past and present, the analogue and the digital. It questions the meaning of current events, the momentum of rapidly developing technology and our cultural heritage. It invites us to consider how our own society’s iconic relationship with technology will be seen in the future. It reaches a hand towards who we were, while we are becoming something completely new.