Cavalier Galleries, Inc. is pleased to present “Masters Redefined,” a solo exhibition of recent work by Alex Guofeng Cao. This new series of Cao’s large scale, mosaic photo works will be on view in our Greenwich, CT gallery from March 1-25, 2013.
After the runaway success of his last series of photos which depict pop culture icons and celebrities, Cao turns his attention to iconic images from the history of art. He chooses readily recognizable masterworks and presents them on a massive scale in his signature, powerful monochromatic tones. Upon closer inspection, one finds the large photograph is an assemblage of repeating, tiny images of a different picture. The result is an intricate photo mosaic, imposing in scale, yet alluring in detail. Further study will find a dialogue between the large main image and the smaller images which compose it. In Le Reve, Marie Therese vs. Picasso, the large image of Marie Therese is populated by tiny pixilated images of Arnold Newman’s photo of Picasso from 1954. In Pollock vs. Pollock Portrait, Jackson Pollock’s, Autumn Rhythm, #30, is created with tiny photos of Pollock, himself. In I Care, After Lichtenstein, Lichtenstein’s famous Drowning Girl is assembled with multiples of the original cartoon panel from which the painting was derived. These densely layered photo works encourage reflection on the process of the creation of art. They reference the interplay between artist and work, work and source, and artist and subject.
Alex Guofeng Cao discovered his passion for photography while living in New York City. He was inspired by such masters as Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, and Robert Mapplethorpe. Cao was greatly influenced by his study of western antiquity and travels in Italy. He applies his understanding of Western culture’s past to his impression of the present. The ideal forms and proportions of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman sculpture and the mosaics on the floors and walls in Naples and Pompeii had an especially great impact on him. This background is clearly evident in Cao’s new series of large scale work where he redefines the masters by creating mosaics for our modern age.