Work of Art: After the Mona Lisa 2
Devorah Sperber
born 1961
After the Mona Lisa 2
5,184 spools of thread provided by Coats & Clark, stainless steel hanging apparatus, aluminum ball chain, acrylic sphere, and metal stand
Image (spools of thread): 85 x 87 in. (215.9 x 221 cm)
Gift of the North Carolina Museum of Art Contemporaries

Devorah Sperber incorporates everyday materials—thousands of spools of thread, pipe cleaners, colored tacks—to reinvent famous works of art. She is interested in exploring the reproduction of images in the digital era, the links between art and technology, and visual perception—how the eye and brain make sense of the visual world. She starts by scanning a reproduction of a painting to create a color-charted map, which she remakes in three dimensions using small objects to mimic the pixels of digital images. In the process she greatly enlarges the original image and turns it upside down. Viewing the work through the acrylic sphere provided by the artist mimics peripheral vision, turning the image right side up and shrinking it to a recognizable size. Sperber explains that in addition to experimenting with perception, she is equally determined “to provide visual experiences that are compelling enough to stand on their own without any explanation.”

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