Playing with traditional ideals of beauty and subverting class and gender norms, Josef Fischnaller inserts models into the settings of famous paintings, with ironic and at times ominous alterations. In Sara, the nude subject rests on a chaise lounge that has been recreated with assorted Lego blocks.
Image rights: Courtesy of the artist and 57 STUX Gallery, New York
About Josef Fischnaller
Josef Fischnaller embeds mischievous details into ornate, luminous photographic portraits that reference Old Masters like Caravaggio and Diego Velázquez. Playing with traditional ideals of beauty and subverting class and gender norms, Fischnaller revives and reinvents the sitters of heroic painters that came before him. Though from afar Infantin Eva (2010) might resemble a traditional aristocratic portrait rendered with perfect chiaroscuro, upon closer examination Fischnaller’s subject is adorned not with velvet and jewels, but a gluttonous concoction of marshmallow mice, matted pasta, and artfully cut olives. In Kurtisane (2009) Fischnaller replaces the female subject from Bartolomeo Veneto’s well-known Renaissance portrait with a coy male figure complete with brilliant red hair and lipstick to match.
Austrian, b. 1964, Grieskirchen, Austria, based in Berlin, Germany