The Restoration  2005

Using Johannes Vermeer paintings as an inspiration for creating a contemporary tableau vivant, the artist purchases a factory stock 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix for staging the scene.   He remodels his


The Restoration, Light Box Framed
The Restoration, Light Box Framed
The Restoration (Lightbox)
The Restoration (Lightbox)
Detail of Garage Opening
Detail of Garage Opening
Detail of "Hans," the mechanic.
Detail of "Hans," the mechanic.
Detail of woman in front of Gerhardt Richter.
Detail of woman in front of Gerhardt Richter.
Detail of woman taking down a chandelier.
Detail of woman taking down a chandelier.
Detail of 1964 Civil Rights tapestry with car.
Detail of 1964 Civil Rights tapestry with car.
Vermeer: 1660 Girl with Wine Glass (Source Painting)
Vermeer: 1660 Girl with Wine Glass (Source Painting)
Vermeer: 1668 The Geographer (Source Painting)
Vermeer: 1668 The Geographer (Source Painting)
Vermeer: 1672 Lady Standing at Virginal (Source Painting)
Vermeer: 1672 Lady Standing at Virginal (Source Painting)
Vermeer detail: Chandelier (Source Painting)
Vermeer detail: Chandelier (Source Painting)
Tableaux Vivant Photoshop mockup
Tableaux Vivant Photoshop mockup

garage to resemble a Vermeer interior and places figures in contemporary and 17th Century period garb to stage an event that seems to float between photographic, painterly and cinematic forms.  The underlying Western iconography is undermined by the reference to the “New World” Pontiac named after the Obwandiyag leader who led the attack on Fort Detroit after the French ceded control to the British and General Amherst who led a cruel campaign against all Native people under his purview.  The “Restoration” is not a literal restoration of a car but the restoration of the consciousness of

native history. The “grand prix” in this sense is control of the lands ceded by the natives to the French and then the British and Americans.


The scene is photographed with a 4x5 camera and post production occurs in photoshop where perspective color rendering and specular highlights are added to represent Vermeer’s rendering style.


The work is presented as a medium scale lightbox.