The Mona Lisa Project

Thu May 27, 2010

Please join us for a panel and public discussion on the Mona Lisa Project at Women and Their Work.
May 27 at 7:00pm

Photographer Rino Pizzi and artists Connie Arismendi, Ellen Berman, Valerie Chaussonnet, Faith Gay, Judy Jensen, Germaine Keller, Emily Little, Beili Liu, Beverly Penn, Margo Sawyer, Nancy Scanlan, Julie Speed, Jana Swec, Liz Ward, Sally Weber, and Sydney Yeager will be discussing this creative collaboration.

The Mona Lisa Project is a series of collaborative portraits inspired by the image and cultural relevance of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa portrait. The portraits will be the result of an exchange between photographer Rino Pizzi and 16 women artists who specialize in different media and disciplines, living in Texas and well established locally, nationally and internationally.

The project started in December 2009 and its first stage is now complete. The participants rehearsed the smile of Mona Lisa as closely as possible to the original portrait, occasionally producing small documents (sketches, snapshots) of body postures, locations, imagery, and the like. They then sat, enacting the Mona Lisa smile, for a photo session. The artists are now working on a second layer on top of a print or in some cases of electronic files of their portrait to produce the final art pieces.

The main objective of the project is that of providing a commentary on a wide range of topics in contemporary art production and gender issues, inviting women artists to approach an established icon about femininity through diverse traditions of performance and photographic portraiture, and appropriate it for their own aesthetic vision and experience.

This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and with the generous support of Jim Sipowicz, Shell Media, Inc. Special Thank you’s to William Nemir, Janis Bergman-Carton, Chris Cowden, and Erika Payan Zanetti.