Gallery opening: Alexa Meade's 'Picture Planes' at Irvine Contemporary

"Self Portrait" by Alexa Meade, who paints the faces of models and then photographs them. Her work is on view at Irvine. (Alexa Meade)
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Just when you think you've seen it all, along comes a new medium: Photography of acrylic on flesh. Irvine Contemporary's exhibition "Picture Planes" spotlights work by 23-year-old Alexa Meade, whose radical approach to portraiture includes painting the faces and bodies of her models -- fabricating additional shadows across cheekbones or slathering a thick layer of paint atop eyebrows -- then photographing them. The effect is curious and startling; what looks like a picture of a two-dimensional painting inspires double-takes because the subject's hair and eyes are so clearly human. During the opening reception, and every Saturday of the exhibition, Meade will demonstrate her artistic process on different subjects in the gallery.

-- Stephanie Merry

Opening reception Saturday from 6-8 p.m. Exhibition runs through July 24. Irvine Contemporary, 1412 14th St. NW. 202-332-8767. Free.

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