Creative Global Network for the Visual Arts

Review of John Stezaker at Whitechapel Gallery



John Stezaker, Whitechapel, Review

The methods of expert collagist John Stezaker are not dissimilar from those of a plastic surgeon: he splices and dices his subjects – beautiful Hollywood actors and actresses – lopping off an ear here and peeling back a face there, leaving them looking like entirely different people.

Of course, being an artist and not a surgeon, Stezaker works with images rather than the subjects themselves, using old film stills, test shots and postcards from the 19050s and 60s. And he is far more experimental. It isn’t simply a case of reshaping a nose or implanting a chin, Stezaker manipulates and subjugates images, completely making over his subjects in the process.

Take the works in the series Marriage, each one is constructed from the union of two separate images – one, a portrait of a woman, the other, a portrait of a man. In each instance one of the photographs is halved - cut either diagonally, vertically or horizontally, but always in a straight line - and then placed over the other. The result is an uncanny portrait, a hybrid of the

To read the full John Stezaker, Whitechapel, Review visit Where Art You the only website dedicated to London art reviews.

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