new-york

Stefano Castronovo

Patrick Fox Gallery

Part one of this show was a room full of Mona Lisas, eight of them titled “Devoid 1–8.” Some are medium shots, some are close-ups, some are extreme close-ups. In some of the pictures Mona Lisa is partially obscured, as in the first one, in which her face is half covered with the gold squares that also form a background. In others the image is eroded; in Devoid 8, for example, the face is peeled away with only clues remaining. The image is recognizable only from its context.

“Devoid” could be translated to mean “from the void,” and these are images from the void of art history, from Leonardo to Duchamp to now. The Mona Lisa has become a void, a vacuum whose only content is what is sucked from the beholder. Jean-Michel Basquiat drew Mona as the face on money, and she is as invisible as George Washington; but her invisibility also makes her a perfect ghost, and in Stefano Castronovo’s paintings

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