Laura ad infinitum

Michael Craig-Martin, Digital portrait of Laura, Lady Burlington, 2010. The computerized portrait is live, changing colors every 5 – 15 seconds. The program randomly selects the color and duration of each unique sequence.

The portrait was commissioned by Lord and Lady Burlington, the son and daughter-in-law of the 12th Duke of Devonshire.

Using a black line portrait of Lady Burlington, Craig-Martin’s software divides the image into nine different color areas (hair, skin, lips, eyebrows, etc.). A 52″ monitor projects the portrait, which is vertically mounted to resemble a typical framed painting. The software changes the color of the image every 5 to 15 seconds, but this is no loop – instead, the software is programmed to randomly select the colors and timing of each sequence, resulting in millions of possible image combinations. The result is truly a sight to behold.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, artist Craig-Martin attended the Yale University School of Art before working as a tutor at Goldsmiths College in London; Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin are just two of the many young artists he taught. His work is found in a number of public collections, including the Irish Museum of Modern Art, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, New York, Tate and the Centre Pompidou.

Laura’s portrait was one of the Treasures from Chatsworth: The Exhibition, on show at Sotheby’s New York, in 2019.

August 11th, 2019

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