Art Nerd City Guides: New York · Los Angeles

Keyes on Keyes

When I sat down to write First Thursday art walk recommendations in early February I quickly passed over Doug Keyes’ work without giving it a second thought. It wasn’t until I actually visited G. Gibson Gallery in the TK Building that I finally realized the mistake that I had made. The reason for passing on the work was simple, it doesn’t really hold up as an image viewed online, but as an object it is something else entirely.

The process that Keyes employes is a little involved to easily hash out in a short recommendation paragraph, but after a visit to the gallery and a chance to see the work in person I figured out a way to sum it up. Basically Keyes takes photographs of reproductions of works by one artist and compiles them all together via layering. In the case of his show ‘Portraits’, the subjects are works from artists such as Rembrandt, Warhol, Alex Katz, Roni Horn, and Chuck Close. In addition to single artists, Keyes has compiled images from popular blogs the Sartorialist, Fruits, and Humans of NY. Once an artist’s repertoire is all mashed together in layers, where details from one work blur into another, Keyes turns the image into an object. In the gallery the photographic prints are face mounted onto plexiglass, some are large and some small; one is even affixed to a very thick piece of plexi and sits on a shelf. It is a natural fit for an art nerd who loves art about art.

This gave me an idea. Inspired by the way Keyes makes art about art, I thought it would make sense to compile all of Keyes’ work from his most recent show Portraits into one image. I asked a friend who is handy with photoshop to layer all of the works from the show; the end result is a pretty mess. Enjoy.


Keyes on Keyes

Keyes on Keyes


Doug Keyes ‘Portraits’ is on view at G. Gibson Gallery through February 28.



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  1. […] Keyes on Keyes by Jeremy Buden […]

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