Local artists displayed on South campus


Martin Wnuk

Works of art from around the world are recreated on the body of Chadwick Gray as part of the Museum Anatomy exhibition.

The human body is on display at San Jacinto College South Campus but not in the biology labs of the science building.

Museum Anatomy is a photography-based series by Houston artists Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector exhibiting recreations of artwork featured in museum collections from many countries. However, there is one distinction – the recreations are photographs of artwork painted onto Chadwick’s body.

“We’re inspired by paintings that are often hidden, destroyed, stolen or otherwise unavailable for the general public to view. The work we have recreated is mainly from museum collections from 12 different countries,” Chadwick said. “In a way, the Museum Anatomy project is a summation and worldwide survey of art for the past 500 years until today in both concept and process.”

According to Spector, the original paintings are “repainted onto Chadwick’s body as a way to resurrect the hidden work. The paintings we choose to work with were painted pre-19th century, and now reinvented, take on aspects of performance art, sculpture, photography and painting.”

Meanwhile, Chadwick and Spector said they consider their artwork far from ordinary.

“Aside from looking at the visuals,” Spector said, “there are so many aspects to the Museum Anatomy project including collaboration, art and politics, conservation, curatorial decisions, stories of the artists, models depicted in the paintings, narratives of the paintings, gender roles, altering the male gaze, and searching for lost, hidden and stolen paintings.”

Exhibition visitor and aspiring artist Alan Dossett said he could not believe the artistic talent he saw in the work of Chadwick and Spector.

“It is so great to see how these two artists have recreated so many pieces of art that may have since been forgotten or never seen again due to their current state,” Dossett said.

Furthermore, Chadwick and Spector not only want to amuse visitors, but also want their art to be inspirational.

“We hope viewers find it intriguing, engaging, playful and interesting. We’d like the work to inspire conversation,” Chadwick said. “We suspect there is something everyone will enjoy whether it is simply connecting to the visuals, or one of the many theories behind the creation of the work.”

“There is a myth that artists are disorganized,” Spector said, “eccentric and socially awkward. But, in reality whenever we’ve ever met highly successful artist they have the spirit of a child, the mind of a scientist and the business savvy of a CEO. This is something we continue to strive for in our own lives.”

Museum Anatomy is on display until April 18 in the Art Gallery of the Marie Spence Flickinger Fine Arts Building at San Jacinto College South Campus.