LOS ANGELES—Visual artists and twin brothers Ryan and Trevor Oakes
will visit the Getty Center December 6–December 24, where they will employ their novel drawing approach in capturing the Getty. Jointly, they will execute a drawing of the Getty’s Central Garden over the course of three weeks, and offer visitors an up-close view of the unique spectacle of their unusual artistic technique.
The Oakes accomplish a difficult task—drawing a picture of a scene as the human eye views it—with a set of self-designed tools. Using a spherical metal easel and paper, as well as a plaster head cap to steady their vantage point, the brothers draw images that are incredibly accurate in proportion and perspective.
While one brother draws, the other often interacts with visitors, discussing their techniques and answering questions. The brothers have several visual experiments that they demonstrate, in order to explain their artistic process to audiences.
“We are delighted to have the Oakes brothers at the Getty, and look forward to watching their process and seeing the completed work,” said Toby Tannenbaum, assistant director for Education at the J. Paul Getty Museum. “This project with the Museum affords visitors the opportunity to view an artist’s drawings from start to finish, and learn more about the mathematics and visual concepts they use to create precise renderings.”
The Oakes explored their mutual fascination with vision throughout grade school and during their time at The Cooper Union’s School of Art in New York City. Since graduating, they continued their dialogue through a body of jointly built art pieces that address human vision, light, perception, and the experience of space and depth.
“Since birth we’ve been visually and tactilely focused—as kids we gravitated toward games that involved spatial play such as juggling and unicycling,” explains Ryan. “Vision itself became a primary focus of our art because, after all, any piece of visual material—art, nature, literature—that might spark awe in the mind will undoubtedly come through the gates of the eyes.”
Their previous public art projects include a large-scale drawing that debuted in Chicago’s Millennium Park in the summer of 2009, and is now installed at O’Hare International Airport, as well as recent work in the Palazzo Strozzi Museum in Florence, Italy.
The Oakes’ artwork is held in the permanent collections of The Field Museum and the Spertus Museum in Chicago, as well as the New York Public Library. They have exhibited and lectured across the United States and abroad, most recently at CUE Art Foundation in New York City.
The Oakes will be drawing at the Getty Center from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day, from December 6 through December 24, 2011.
Image at top: Concave easel, 2004, with added rotatable plaster head-holder, 2008.
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The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.
The J. Paul Getty Museum collects in seven distinct areas, including Greek and Roman antiquities, European paintings, drawings, manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts, and photographs gathered internationally. The Museum’s mission is to make the collection meaningful and attractive to a broad audience by presenting and interpreting the works of art through educational programs, special exhibitions, publications, conservation, and research.
Visiting the Getty Center
The Getty Center is open Tuesday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. It is closed Monday and major holidays. Admission to the Getty Center is always free. Parking is $15 per car, but reduced to $10 after 5pm on Saturdays and for evening events throughout the week. No reservation is required for parking or general admission. Reservations are required for event seating and groups of 15 or more. Please call (310) 440-7300 (English or Spanish) for reservations and information. The TTY line for callers who are deaf or hearing impaired is (310) 440-7305. The Getty Center is at 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, California
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