Xu Weixin: Monumental Portraits - Review

Xu Weixin’s portrait exhibit is an installation piece, hung as a wall of voices--an outer circle of players from the Cultural Revolution, images accessed in part from his blog and painted in black and white, in which he highlights individuals as ordinary people, not purveyors of a revolutionary message.  

The inner circle comprises color paintings of miners from the present  whom Xu photographed.  The contrast of historical moments, past and present, heroes and victims, is powerful; the painterly technique and digital interface well-crafted and expressive.  German visual artist Gerhard Richter once said that a portrait can never come as close to the sitter than when it’s a very good likeness—better to paint from a photograph…a practice that sits true in many manifestations…

The portraits are on display at UMMA from now until June 11th.  Click here for more info.