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Rescuing objects from time: Painstaking hyperrealism is like magic

Who: Argentine artist Victoria Gitman, whose works have been featured in the David Nolan Gallery in New York, Daniel Weinberg Gallery in Los Angeles, The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach Florida and Tomio Koyama Gallery in Tokyo.

What she’s known for: Victoria Gitman examines the perception of beauty and femininity through carefully detailed, intricate renderings that were described by one critic as “a verisimilitude that verges on magic realism.” Many of her works are painstakingly accurate, elevating everyday objects with a type of hyperrealism that conjures up the dexterity of Old Master paintings.

What’s being said about her: In Victoria Gitman’s exhibition titled “Desiring Eye” at Pérez Art Museum Miami, the artist presented a series of oil reproductions of portraits originally crafted by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres alongside paintings of necklaces, bracelets and purses consisting of beads or fur.

In a Miami New Times article, reporter Ciara Lavelle writes:

Paintings of necklaces gave way to paintings of bracelets and then to her current subject, purses. She began painting white beaded pouches, then branched out into colored beads, and most recently has turned her attention to purses made of fur. Her shopping techniques also evolved.

“Every time I went to Lincoln Road, I would find maybe 50 things, and [often] nothing would be a good subject for me, whereas I go on eBay and there are like 3,000 each time I go, and they change all the time,” she says.

Victoria Gitman’s artistic process, on the other hand, has remained old-fashioned. She paints from life, never from a photograph. And she’s so committed to creating eerily lifelike renderings of her subjects that she spends up to four months working on a single canvas. With the beaded purses, for example, she estimates she completed about 30 beads per day.

For the artist, it’s about somehow rescuing “these things from being lost in this sea of objects.”

Image: A Beauty (2008), artwork by Victoria Gitman, Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami.