Last week, over 1,000 people watched as artist Alexa Meade created an outdoor, interactive installation like no other. On the courtyard of Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., she painted directly onto live models who appeared to be living in two-dimensional paintings. She then allowed visitors to actually be a part of the work by peaking their heads through cut-out frames. “The viewer becomes participant. They complete the work,” she told The Wall Street Journal.
Of course, the true magic happens when the viewer gets to see the photo of themselves within the installation. Doesn’t it look like they’ve been trapped inside a painting? (Talk about “photorealistic” art!)
The installation referenced the innovation in Harry Warnecke’s photographic portraits seen in the National Portrait Gallery’s exhibition In Vibrant Color and was part of the Gallery’s Portraits After 5 program, a monthly series highlighting local living artists.
Below are some of our favorite shots from that night.