Young Irish artist John Gerrard has created an important body of radical and
experimental work. It breaks new ground in our understanding of the
time-honoured genre of portraiture. Gerrard’s portraits are not photographs
or videos, they are the new medium of realtime 3D objects, a kind of
‘sculptural photography’ or ‘new cinema’.
These technologically sophisticated works offer a rigorous conceptual
engagement with the fundamentals of portraiture. They are also a lot of FUN
to experience and interact with.
The main work, entitled 'Portrait Diptych' presents a kind of impossible,
responsive mirror: two portraits of the same androgynous character are
presented on two pivoted touch-screens. The viewer can change their
expressions - make them blink, frown or smile, for example. When the screens
are turned to face one another, the two portrait characters interact.
In a delightful updating of the sense that painted portraits are watching
us, Gerrard’s 'Watchful Portrait' presents a young man who continually scans
the gallery and responds to the presence of a viewer by following him/her
with his gaze.
'Saddening Portrait' plays with the new temporal possibilities of 3D media:
here, a portrait will progressively sadden in appearance over 100 years,
beginning on the opening night of the show. This work is presented on a
prototype device consisting of a mini PC, touchscreen and custom-designed
housing. This solution is designed to allow works of this nature to be
easily installed in domestic spaces. Indeed, this piece has already been
purchased for a private collection.
On the upper level of the gallery, the artist has conceived of the entire
space as a ‘Viewing Platform’ onto a photorealistic 3D landscape encircling
the building. Gerrard's viewing platform presents illusionistic 'windows'
onto the landscape which was commissioned from Martin Brunker, a virtual
SEMINAR: Thursday November 27th at 2pm
The Gallery of Photography is delighted to confirm that Mr. Gerfried
Stocker, Director of the Ars Electronica Centre in Linz, Austria, will give
a presentation about the artistic potential of new media. John Gerrard will
also talk about his work.
Places strictly limited, booking essential.
About the artist: John Gerrard, born 1974, Tipperary. Currently based in
Dublin. Recently completed a long term artists residency in the world
renowned Ars Electronica Futurelab in Austria. He has an MSc Multimedia
(TCD); MA Fine Art (School of the Art Institute of Chicago); BA Sculpture
(The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford). He has exhibited
internationally with upcoming shows in Bejing, Singapore, Madrid and London
He has received numerous awards and scholarships, including a Gallery of
Photography Development Bursary for the work in this exhibition.
Viewing Platform (Mountain View)
Copyright John Gerrard