About the Art
Cain's portraits are painted on antique book pages, from classics books, such as Pride and Prejudice.
The works subjects are positioned facing away from the view. At first glance, the characters seem to engage with the narrative printed on the pages as if they are an outside observer, mirroring you - the viewer of the artwork. Upon closer inspection though, the narrative written on the pages shows through the superimposed characters and brings them alive as a reflection of the novel itself, transformed through the modern-day lens of the viewer.
The stylistic accents of using negative space, where different characters overlap, leads the paintings to reveal words of the underlying book pages. Intriguingly, the overall story is omnipresent and still magically elusive. The observer only gets a glimpse of the narrative at a single moment in time and becomes intertwined in the interpretation of the art through their own reflection and memories of the narrative.
About the Style
Antique book pages
Subjects Face the Narrative
Interplay between the subject and the narrative of the book
Helps the viewer to identify with the subjects
Reflects a modern interpretation of books characters
Visitors can physically interact with the art by transforming into a character superimposed onto the book pages with the help of a digital projection. This transformation appears in the same style as the painted portraits and this method of placing ‘real’ people into artwork is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s photobooth concept from the 1960s. Warhol accompanied his subjects to photobooths around Manhattan, where they added their own narrative in front of the camera. The resulting high contrast images were then used as the template for his silkscreen prints, most famous of of which is Marilyn Monroe. In a similar vein, Cain’s installation uses real-time skeletal tracking to convert the observer’s clothes into ink like textures and their skin into negative space, mimicking Cain’s portrait style.
The real time images and be frozen at any time, become a fixed portrait in the show. These portraits are hand painted on old book pages from person choosing.