Volker Hermes exaggerates historical portraits with ostentatious absurdity – Colossal

1687785452 Volker Hermes exaggerates historical portraits with ostentatious absurdity Colossal | RetinaComics


#art history #digital portraits #Volker Hermes

June 26, 2023

Kate Moth

« Hidden Pickenoy II » (2023). All images © Volker Hermes, shared with permission

Throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, Europe’s upper classes entered an era of unprecedented prosperity due to the explosion of trade and commerce. The wealthy sought to express their status and portraiture, which had previously been exclusive to royalty, became the perfect indicator of social rank. In England, these paintings became known as the works of Grand Manner, and the Dutch school counted such well-known names as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals among its cohort, still captivating us today to sold out exhibitions. By German artist Hermes Volkerthis era of art history provides an inexhaustible source of inspiration.

digital photo collages (previously) playfully reinvent the original subjects in the course of Hermes Hidden portraits series. Originally depicted by the likes of Dutch painter Nicolaes Pickenoy or French Baroque artist George de La Tour, subjects in Hermes iterations are overwhelmed by their own garments to the point of absurdity. Brocade masks cover the eyes of an Elizabethan sitter, lush robes extend to the forehead, and lace ruffs wrap around the wearer’s faces.

Hermes is drawn to specific features in the original paintings, such as ribbons, that « set historic images into motion, » he tells Colossal. “At the moment, I’m dealing a lot with Rococo, which is currently getting a lot of attention, after being considered kitsch for a long time. Representations of masculinity throughout history have also emerged as a new theme. « I would like to draw attention once again to old-fashioned forms of masculinity, which actually seemed outdated, but are currently becoming, unfortunately, attractive again for many men, » he says.

Until 8 July it is possible to visit the personal exhibition of Hermes Ruff hood TO James Freeman Gallery in London. He will also have works in the group show Rococo madness! to the National Museum in Wroclaw, Poland from 14 July to 14 January 2024. Find out more about the artist’s work website AND Instagram.

A digitally manipulated Elizabethan portrait showing a woman with a brocade mask covering most of her face, preventing her from seeing.

“Hidden English School” (2023)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Catena showing a robe pulled so high over the subject's face that they cannot see.

“Hidden Chain” (2021)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Pourbus showing a regal woman wearing a huge ruff that covers her face, with ribbons tangled all over her head.

“Hidden Anonymous (Pourbus IV)” (2021)

A digitally manipulated artwork by de la Tour of a woman wearing huge ribbons covering her face.

“Hidden Tower VIII” (2022)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Nattier of a woman wearing a frilled brocade mask.

Hidden Nattier VI (2023)

A digitally manipulated artwork by an artist of the Anglo-Dutch school wearing a brocade mask.

“Hidden Anglo-Dutch School” (2023)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Pickenoy showing a woman with an enormous ruff enveloping most of her face and the gold cord of her dress tangling around her head.

Hidden Pickenoy II (2023)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Copley of a man in a green robe so large that it covers his entire body.

“Hidden Singleton Copley VII” (2023)

A digitally manipulated artwork by Cerroti of a young man with a wide ribbon wrapped around his head.

“Hidden Siries Cerroti” (2022)

#art history #digital portraits #Volker Hermes

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