Self-Portraits in ‘Mirror #16 (24” diameter)’, 2015

Basel 2017
Gavin Brown's enterprise, Sadie Coles HQ
Painting
13-part installation, acrylic on canvas
Self-Portraits in ‘Mirror #16 (24” diameter)’ is a 13-part installation based on Roy Lichtenstein’s namesake mirror work from 1970. Each of these ‘self-portraits’ is made by a different individual, painted by eye from a small printout of the original. (That is, only brushes and paint and no additional mechanical apparatus were used.) The resulting paintings resemble the original, but are distorted and ‘wrong’ in different, highly particular ways. Lichtenstein’s mirror paintings make literal the loss of self that is a necessary component of every act of looking. He was fascinated by the depiction of mirrors in cartoons, the way in which a few slanted lines could connote the notion of the surface of a mirror. The dots are but an abstraction of glare, mechanical signs of mass reproduction and the absence of the hand of the painter. In contrast, the dots in Horowitz’s paintings bear the subjective imprint of the individual who made it. Horowitz’s mirror paintings revive the maker, and make that person, though not literally visible, present and felt. Subject and object become interchangeable. Differing from and reflecting another in a hall of mirrors, the paintings affirm commonality and the acceptance of human limitation.