Collishaw has made no secret of his fascination with Caravaggio’s work. At the Galleria Borghese in 2014 the artist fused contemporary art with the museum’s historic collection when he animated three paintings by Caravaggio. Madonna and Child with St. Anne, David with the Head of Goliath and Saint Jerome Writing appeared and disappeared behind the surfaces of large surveillance mirrors framed in black Murano glass. The figures appeared as if posing for the original painting; breathing, blinking and shifting their weight in front of the viewer. Everyday people caught in the process of being transformed into religious icons, trapped like spectres in an indeterminate space between the real world and the realm of the painting.
Collishaw says, ‘Caravaggio’s paintings, although they are often depictions of quite real looking people, they are imbued with something which is almost supernatural.’ You can see him discussing the influence of Caravaggio on his work in this short film produced for the National Gallery below.
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