‘CARAVAGGIO TO VERMEER’ by John Afflick. Corke Art Gallery, Wed 13th April – Sat 7th May 2011
Mini-review © Gayna Rose Madder 2011.
This controversial show provides the viewer with a conundrum. Is this pastiche?
There is no doubt that John Afflick is a painter with an immaculate style. Eschewing more modern materials to paint exclusively in traditional oils – and pigments – he even goes so far as to order his solvents from Italy.
A beautiful painting of two babies – already sold – demonstrates his astounding abilities as a portrait painter.
But the other paintings on show – often almost indistinguishable from the originals – bring to mind ‘spot-the-difference’ puzzles. Is it really a saline drip in the arm of Bacchus, in a representation of Caravaggio’s 1596 painting? This was done when the artist was just 25 years of age and is now on display in Uffizi, Florence.
The exhibition includes John’s versions of well known paintings by other ‘masters’ including Buonarrotti Michelangelo, Merisi da Caravaggio, Anthony Van Dyck, Leonardo da Vinci, Moritz Von Schwind, Johannes Vermeer and Harmenzsoon van Rihn Rembrandt (always good to be able to quote the first names!)
It must be said that it seems quite overwhelming too see all of these together in one space. The artist’s painterly skills together with his use of old techniques and materials perfect an unmissable ‘trompe ‘l’oeil’ experience.
Private View: 6 – 8 pm, Wednesday 20th April 2011
Corke Art Gallery, 296-298 Aigburth Road, Liverpool L17 9PW
All paintings are for sale – please call the gallery for further details or to arrange a viewing outside normal opening hours – Tue – Fri 2pm – 6pm and Sat 10am – 2pm.