Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector currently reside in Houston, Texas after having lived in Chiang Mai, Thailand for ten years. They are both Fellows of The New York Founndation For the Arts, exhibitors in FotoFest 2014, and finalists considered among the top artists working in Asia from the Sovereign Asian Art Award in both 2006 and 2008. Their work has been published in The Harvard Review, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!, and in the book, The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art by Wendy Steiner. Museum Anatomy artwork can be seen in exhibitions and collections around the world.
While creating the Museum Anatomy project, they have had the privilege of working with curators from The Victoria & Albert Museum, The Prado, The National Gallery (Prague), The National Gallery (Athens), MuseuMAfricA, The Civica Museum (Palermo), Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley), National Gallery (Bangkok), among others. Currently, Museum Anatomy is expanding into three-dimensional works of art.
Museum Anatomy is a body of work created by the longterm collaborative known as Chadwick & Spector, (Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector), which began in 1996.
Working alongside museum curators from museums in 12 countries, the artists search for pre-19th Century paintings, which have been hidden or damaged, many existing in museum storage facilities. After selecting hidden paintings, the artists create a new work of art, inspired by the the original painting onto the human body using special effects make-up. (Spector paints Chadwick). The ephemeral act of creating paintings on the body is documented with photography. Each painting takes from 8-15 hours to complete. The final photographs are enlarged and displayed as Contemporary art.
After creating Museum Anatomy for 18 years, the artists began creating sculptural pieces cast from Chadwick’s body. This allowed for the availability of new compositions and possibilities of anatomical repetition within the paintings.
For example: During the painting process, Chadwick may hold a plaster cast of his own hand, which is integrated into the composition creating the illusion that he has three hands. While the painting on Chadwick’s body is ephemeral, the painted sculptural relic still remains after the process. (In this example, a painted hand).
As Chadwick & Spector investigated the casting process further, they simultaneously became inspired by stolen paintings. After reading dozens of case histories of art heists, they decided to use both the FBI and Scotland Yard websites for research and reference materials. In 2011, they created their first maquette using traditionally rendered oil paintings based on stolen artwork onto plaster casts of Chadwick’s body.
They continue to pursue their investigation of exploring what happens when the painted human form begins to interrupt the picture plane as if it were coming alive, emerging from surface of the painting. They have also begun including anatomical structures within the paintings, (Ex: “Eleanor of Austria, after Joos van Cleve”.) This creates another layer of multi-stable imagery (See”Rubin Vase” below) to explore. Chadwick & Spector continue to strategically organize their Museum Anatomy paintings so that they can reveal multiple images cohesivley integrated into a single work of art.
This new development of their artwork is entitled, “Museum Anatomy – Heist”.
In 2007, Laura Spector was interviewed on The New Yorkers TV Show, New York Public Media.
Video re-edited with restored Museum Anatomy images,
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