Houston Matters

Stolen Paintings From Nazi Germany Reinterpreted As Body Art

The latest Artwork collaboration from Laura Spector and Chadwick Gray involves Spector reimagining pre-19th century paintings onto the human body,

Museum Anatomy - Closeup

Artwork by Laura Spector and Chadwick Gray called “Museum Anatomy“, which reimagine paintings that were stolen by the Nazis during World War II as body art and 3D castings.

Local artist Laura Spector and her collaborator Chadwick Gray have been working on a long-running project called “Museum Anatomy” for the past 22 years. 

The project involves Spector reimagining pre-19th century paintings onto the human body, namely Chadwick’s. As the project developed, they have honed their mission to search specifically for paintings that have been lost or stolen, looking at photographs to reinterpret them and using this as an opportunity to more or less bring them back in some fashion.

Their latest part of the project is currently on display in Houston and it focuses on paintings stolen by the Nazis during World War II, repainted on the bodies of several different models. An additional element they have begun to add is the use of body castings, allowing parts of some paintings to actually protrude from the display as a three-dimensional effect. Joshua Zinn spoke with Spector and Gray about their collaboration and how the historical context relates to today’s world. 

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