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production dates

Naples, Italy
Museo Madre - Teatro Festival Italia
Chiesa di Santa Maria Donnaregina
11 october - 08 December 2007

Spoleto, Italy
Spoleto 51| Festival dei 2 Mondi
Palazzo Leti Sansi
11 october - 08 December 2007

Milan, Italy
Palazzo Reale, Piano Nobile
16 June - 4 October 2009

Locarno, Swisse
Rivellino di Leonardo da Vinci
01 - 31 August 2009

New York, Usa
Center 548
30 November - 18 December 2010

New York, Usa
Times Square
01 - 31 May 2012

Naples, Usa
Linea 1 Metropolitana
Stazione Toledo
Permanent installation, 2012

Turin, Italy
Palazzo Madama
21 September 2012 - 06 January 2013

Bologna, Italy
Arte Fiera 2013
25 -28 January 2013

Bologna, Italy
Fondazione Carisbo
Palazzo Saraceni
04 - 22 February 2013

I think these works can be seen in numerous ways. They can be seen in museum spaces. They can be seen in subway stops. They can be seen in places where people are queuing in airports. They could be on the face of a wristwatch. They could be on TV. They could be an image in your home. They can be hanging on a wall. They could be in a fireplace – the way we have a fire. On a wall at home, they can be like a window – a window that shows us another world. It’s something very personal. It’s a document of our time. They are what I call portraits.” (Robert Wilson)

Over the last thirty years, Robert Wilson has been acknowledged as one of the most important figures of our times in the fields of theatre, opera and arts. Particularly known for his unique interpretation of visual arts and for his radical use of light, Wilson is an artist whose influence goes beyond stages and ways of working: he touches and revolutionizes the fields of fashion, design, architecture and media. Robert Wilson has literally changed the way we look at things.
Since 2004 Robert Wilson has been working to create the Video Portraits. These stunning works of art have captured superstars and royalty, ordinary people and extraordinary animals, in a series of high-definition video portraits.
Robert Wilson’s diverse career (theater, visual arts, video/film, design, fashion, architecture) has placed him in a unique position to draw upon multiple disciplines to create an ensemble of video portraits that are reflections of the times in which we live.
The medium is High Definition (HD) video; the form is somewhere between video/cinema and still photography. The works infuse source materials found in painting, design, architecture, dance, theater, photography, television, film and contemporary popular culture.
The portraits can be seen in relation to Warhol’s screen tests – frontal shot, minimal movement, a locked down camera. Unlike Warhol’s portraits, Wilson uses the highest production values via lighting, cameras, editing equipment and sound studios. The portraits are shot in horizontal format for television/cinema and in vertical orientation for HD plasma flat screen monitors, sized at a near 1:1 relationship between viewer and subject. They are looped so there is no discernible beginning or end, creating a framed work of art. This endless image is achieved via custom designed computer playback systems integrated within the flat screen itself.
Among the subjects produced to date are Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder, Johnny Depp, Monaco’s Princess Caroline of Hanover, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robert Downey, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Isabella Rossellini, Jeanne Moreau, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming, Willem Dafoe, Dieta von Teese, as well as the world’s champion Sumo wrestler and an auto mechanic. The collection also includes captivating animal portraits, including a South American horned frog, a Briard dog, a snow owl, a black panther and a porcupine.
Presented in infinite loops, the Video Portraits seem at first glance to be traditional still portraits. But then, the sitters perform a simple act - a small movement, a blink, a tap of the foot - and the experience of watching them changes entirely. The clarity of HD technology heightens these subtle effects. The portraits also include individual soundtracks, from musicians including Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Bernard Hermann, Michael Galasso, Big Black, Bach as interpreted by Glenn Gould, Hans Peter Kuhn and Ethel Merman.