Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Lookalikes: creepy division

Is there anything in the world (apart from Te Papa’s logo) stranger than the tableau vivant? That’s the event in which people dress up to re-enact moments in history or well known, and not so well known, paintings. If you owned a mouse and had the ability to google, this month you'd have been aware of the contest to dress up like a famous character out of a painting. The results varied from Claire Ball's meticulously crafted The Two Fridas to the effort of a bloke called Seth Johnson who put on a suit and looked like Van Gogh’s 1889 Self Portrait. You can see the best results here

OTN readers will be familiar with the tableau vivant via our enthusiasm for Géricault’s Raft of the Medusa. Those who saw Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho will remember the sex scenes were made in the form of tableaux vivants, but enough of googling.

Images: Top, Claire and Seth. Middle, ukiyo-e woodblock prints by Torii Kiyonaga get the tableau vivant treatment at the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach. Bottom, Van Gogh’s Artist on the Road to Tarascon vivant and the Medusa thing.