Thursday, April 30, 2015

A Ghost in Antwerp

This old pair of sunglasses were on their way to the trash when I swiped them for an art project. They reminded me of simple wire rimmed frames from the early 20th century (they're not really that old, so I didn't care if I messed them up!) I thought it would be neat if you could pick up a pair of old glasses and watch a recording of what had been seen through them. I considered inventing such a system, but worried it could get rather creepy so instead I decided to paint a semi-hypothetical 1900s scene to see through these not-quite-1900s glasses.

The right lens shows Antwerp Central Station, which is one of the most stunning train stations I've visited. It was finished in 1905 and the architecture features a dome on top. A clock framed by beautiful arched windows (which you can see in this photo from my Etsy shop) dominates the interior.

In the left lens is Hungarian operetta singer Sari Petrass as she would have looked if she had been on her way to an evening performance in the city before WWI. In reality, she didn't arrive in Antwerp until 1930, when the car she was riding in attempted to board a ferry and instead crashed into the river, where she drowned.

The painting is made with egg tempera, and each lens measures only 4.5cm (1.75") across.

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