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Historical Artworks Painted on the Human Body

Artists Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector recreate historical works of art using Gray's body as the canvas for each ambitious painting. The artistic duo, simply known as Chadwick & Spector, have been collaborating on their ongoing series known as Museum Anatomy for over a decade. More than simply painting an image on a bare torso, the creative pair work with all parts of the body composed in a number of ways.

Gray, who typically stands in as the canvas while Spector takes on the role of painter, gets into varying positions, making it a challenging task for each painting to neatly line up. The anamorphic illusions are especially fascinating to view as Gray contorts his body and face. Even better, the paintings are often of people which creates an interesting look at human figures on a human figure.

In many instances, the painted mouth is not directly aligned with Gray's mouth. Instead, Gray's own face serves to add an element of surprise and illusion to the viewer as it overlaps and extends beyond the face of the portrait painted on him. The series creates a sort of game out of viewing each painting where you try to figure out what part of Gray you're actually looking at.

Two images from the series are currently showing as part of The Big Show in Houston, Texas. The group exhibition will be running through August 10, 2013.

Top image: Cleopatra's Feast, after Jordeans, detail 2

Nell Gwynne as St. Catherine, after Sir Peter Lely

Saint Mary Magdalene, after Carlo Dolci

Wedding Portrait

Judith With The Head of Holofernes, after Cranach

La Modelo Aline Massun, after Madrazo

Hottentots Sharing a Dram, after Duff

Cleopatra's Feast, after Jordeans

Jeanne d'Arc, after Eugene Thirion

Lanna Woman (Wat Umong)

Wishbone, after Gysis

Girl at Window, after Avlichos

Madeline de France, Queen of Scotland, after Cornielle de Leon

Portrait of Marie Czartorsky, after Cermak

Chadwick & Spector website
via [Colossal]


Pinar Noorata is the Managing Editor at My Modern Met. She is a writer, editor, and content creator based in Brooklyn, NY. She earned her BA in Film and Media Studies from CUNY Hunter College and is an alumni of the Center for Arts Education’s Career Development Program in NYC. She has worked at major TV, film, and publishing companies as well as other independent media businesses. When she isn’t writing, editing, or creating videos herself, Pinar enjoys watching movies, reading, crafting, drawing, and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
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