16 October 2005 12:23 PM
Surrealist photographers often made use of found layering, capturing mannequins and merchandise in urban shop windows whose glass retained secondary images of the surrounding city and passersby. Eckhard Etzold updates this process and takes it further in the direction of self-conscious representation, painting meticulously illusionistic images of what he calls “time-space capsules”: art and science museum vitrines, but also store windows featuring plastic models wearing the latest fashions. His large-scale reproductions add yet another remove to the levels of reality on display, this time the painterly one of acrylic on cotton. But if his choice of photo-realist style seems to fall back on itself, hewing too closely to what we already think things look like, Etzold puts his own practice on the line in works like “Skull II,” where a pristine depiction of a display case bears a sweeping brush stroke right across the middle of the picture plane—a finely painted reproduction of a brush stroke at that.