Half-Life (after Rembrandt), 2017

Painter and sculptor Glenn Brown is known for his reinterpretations of artworks by historical figures including Salvador Dalí, Frank Auerbach, and Rembrandt. Working from reproductions — such as postcards and online images — Brown distorts the originals. He stretches and enlarges faces, swaps naturalistic colours for putrid palettes, and creates a trompe l’oeil with thick impasto. In Half-Life Brown takes Rembrandt’s portraits as his starting point. Behind an intricate mesh of markings are the outlines of Rembrandt’s series of male heads in exotic garb. Brown superimposes, manipulates, and deforms those images to create his own work. The process involves stacking digital images of Rembrandt’s heads, altering them with Photoshop, and drawing over each image using an iPad. The resulting digital file is then photomechanically transferred to a copper plate and printed like a traditional etching.