Optical illusion? Or reality? We weren’t quite sure last Friday when we visited the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. What an amazing experience – amidst 43 acres of cultivated gardens we came upon life size “people” making love, picnicking in the nude – OMG – we didn’t know if we were interrupting an intimate moment or viewing the most prolific sculptor of the 21st century.
Whew…they weren’t living – Seward Johnson fooled us all with his mimicry of 19th century painter Edouard Manet’s works. Imagine, walking around a wall of cypress bushes and there is the 3-D version of paintings we learned about in art history class.
This is just one of many scenes “stolen” from the great masters.
Wonder what Manet would say if he saw his oils whimsically recreated into a real scene with bushes, water and seemingly “alive” but actually stone cold life size bronzes?
So here’s the gist – Manet painted in a 2-D Medium – fabulous – Johnson made it 3-D – haha – now we transformed it into a new 2-D format with the digital camera 150 years after Manet’s initial concept. Question – is this a portrait of friends in the woods like we show in our People Portfolio – or is it merely a fantasy – an optical illusion? A theft?
Are we being a voyeur by watching these two?