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Artist Paints Portraits Over Skype

Michael Stipe

Many of us rely on Skype to call our loved ones, but have you ever seen it used by an artist to paint portraits of people? Heidelberg, Germany-born artist Sandro Kopp has created a body of work that features friends, family and famous people who were asked to sit as models between three to five hours at a time as Koop painted them on the other side of the screen.

“I had the idea of paintings made during video-web-chats: a hybrid of a painting done from life and a painting done from a photograph: stripping the elements of three-dimensionality and presence away, putting a lens (of the webcam) between me and my sitter – but maintaining the elements of time passing and conversation: of engagement,” he explains.

“During the sitting the connection speed may vary, pixelating distortions come and go and are integrated into the resulting work just as are changes in the light or in the expression of the sitter.”

Lehmann Maupin Gallery, in partnership with Istanbul'74, is presenting an exhibition by Kopp in New York at Lehmann Maupin's Lower East Side gallery from now till February 4. Titled Being With You, it features Skype-sitting portraits with famous subjects such as singer Michael Stipe, actress Frances McDormand, and photographer Ryan McGinley, among others.

I like how he makes his subjects look slightly pixelated.

Frances McDormand

Ryan McGinley

Sandro Kopp's website and Lehmann Maupin Gallery website

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