Harvey Opgenorth

Bodybuilder & Sportsman

HARVEY OPGENORTH KNOWS that one way to consider the many legacies of modern painting is to step into its shoes. Opgenorth begins the works in his ongoing “Museum Camouflage” series, 1998–, with a visit to a major American art museum, where he selects a well-known painting—an Ellsworth Kelly at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a Matisse at the Museum of Modern Art in New York; a Frankenthaler at the Milwaukee Art Museum in Opgenorth's hometown; and, this summer, a Rothko at the Art Institute of Chicago (where he was prevented from completing his performance). In each case, Opgenorth studies the work closely, then combs thrift stores to find clothes that match the precise chromas of a section of the chosen canvas. He meticulously fashions a complete outfit that will allow his body to blend seamlessly into the painting when he stands in front of it. Then Opgenorth returns to the museum

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