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Michael Craig-Martin at Chatsworth

April 20, 2010 by Ellie

Computer Portrait of Laura Burlington 2010, © Michael Craig-Martin.
Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photo credit: Dave MorganComputer Portrait of Laura Burlington 2010, © Michael Craig-Martin. Courtesy of Gagosian Gallery. Photo credit: Dave Morgan

A computer portrait by Michael Craig-Martin is the latest addition to the art collection at Chatsworth House. The computer portrait goes on display in a new gallery of the house built in the Derbyshire countryside in the late 1680s and will be seen by visitors alongside earlier portraits of the Devonshire family by Thomas Gainsborough, Joshua Reynolds, John Singer Sargent, Lucien Freud and Stephen Conroy. Read The Art Newspaper's coverage here.

Michael Craig-Martin and Laura Burlington at Chatsworth, © Chatsworth House TrustMichael Craig-Martin and Laura Burlington at Chatsworth, © Chatsworth House Trust

The portrait consists of custom made hardware using a 52" monitor mounted vertically to hang on the wall like a framed painting. The software for the work uses a black line portrait of the sitter by Michael Craig-Martin which is divided into nine different areas of colour: skin, hair, lips, teeth, eyebrows, shirt, etc.

Each of these areas of colour slowly fade from one colour to another through a pallette of 44 colours chosen by the artist. Each colour appears for between five and 15 seconds. As there is no loop, no tape, and no cd/dvd used in this work, there is no repetition. The computer portrait is 'live', programmed to randomly make all decisions concerning colour choice and duration. As there are millions of combinations possible, there is virtually no possibility that anyone will ever see again the exact combination visible at any given moment.