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Old 12-28-2004, 07:56 PM   #1
Karin Wells Karin Wells is offline
FT Pro, Mem SOG,'08 Cert Excellence PSA, '02 Schroeder Portrait Award Copley Soc, '99 1st Place PSA, '98 Sp Recognition Washington Soc Portrait Artists, '97 1st Prize ASOPA, '97 Best Prtfolio ASOPA
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Joined: Jun 2001
Location: Peterborough, NH
Posts: 1,114
The Animated Society Portrait

Here is an interesting article - a novel twist on the portrait.

The Animated Society Portrait

December 12, 2004
By John Bowe, NY Times

For a small consideration, Raphael immortalized the
Medicis. Whistler and Picasso were known to take portrait
work on commission. But after Andy Warhol's silkscreens of
Liz Taylor and Jackie Kennedy, society portraits fell
somewhat out of style. Until recently, that is, when the
brother-and-sister gallerist duo Harry and Maya Stendhal,
of the Maya Stendhal Gallery in New York, decided to revive
the practice by reinventing the society portrait in the
form of a short animated film.

The Stendhals commissioned the painter and filmmaker Jeff
Scher to do a portrait of a society friend of theirs named
Susan Shin, an intellectual-property lawyer and influential
charity maven. Scher filmed Shin and then ''rotoscoped''
the footage -- projecting it one frame at a time onto a
wall. He then watercolored the hundreds of resulting frames
onto paper. Finally, he refilmed hundreds of these
hand-painted images, much as you would film the drawings
that animate a cartoon. Scher's final project is an
endlessly repeating three-minute film -- or loop -- of
Shin, flickering, shimmering and changing colors
appealingly, if not exactly momentously. (There is a point
when Shin smiles that could be called the climax.) Granted,
she's no Jessica Rabbit, and the film's facture is a bit
amateurish, but the effect is flattering in its own way.

Not that facture has much to do with the Stendhals' master
plan. The point of the portrait -- a gift to Shin -- was to
create a market sensation. And Shin was, for Harry
Stendhal, the perfect loss leader, since she is ''an icon
of the times,'' he wrote on a Web site he created for her.
''She is glamorous and much sought after in New York,
London, Paris, you name it.''

The Stendhals say they are now pleased to announce that
clients are lining up to pay $25,000 for their own animated
portraits (with the original frames included). Scher
recently finished a birthday portrait for a client Maya
Stendhal describes as ''a 20-year-old daughter of art
collectors from Miami.'' In this work, ''the motion was
subtler, more intimate,'' Stendhal notes. ''It's more like
a motion portrait of Mona Lisa.'' The artist is now working
on a portrait of the actor Gabriel Byrne. After Byrne,
Stendhal says, you'll simply have to get on the waiting

Note: this article was sent to me by Kathryn Wakefield, manager of Raymond Olivere (SOG artist).
Karin Wells


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