Masterpieces is a work that explores the transformation of the human gaze on art. It takes place in the Louvre Museum, a place that fascinates and terrifies me in equal parts, and proposes a new version of the canon of Western art, through its representation on the screens of visitors, which become a symbolic playground that shows the tensions between the works, the digital devices and the people who look through them.
Since 2014, I have spent countless hours inside the museum, with my camera and a notebook, trying to reflect on the real experience of visitors to one of the most visited art spaces in the world. Paintings and sculptures that have survived several centuries face people who visit the museum for once in their lives and refuse to look directly at them. Contemplation has given way to accumulation, an accumulation conducted by means of all sorts of digital devices, veritable cyclops that pound through the museum hallways stockpiling everything they see in their bottomless memory, generating a new way of staying and being in the world, a transformation of the art experience that points towards a profound modification of human nature. The result of these four years of work and more than 500 kilometers walked on the Louvre galleries is a project and a book entitled Masterpieces: an essay on the remains of a world of hurried mass tourism that we don't know if it will ever come back again.
ABOUT THE BOOK
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Spanish-English edition. Hardcover. Dutch binding. 120 pages. 65 photographs. 175x243 mm
- Published by LENS Books
- Photography and text by Antonio Pérez Río
- Design: underbau
- Translated by Juana Adcock y Sophie Hugues
- Preipress: Eduardo Nave
- Printing: Artes Gráficas Palermo
- ISBN: 978-84-09-02911-2
What Readers Say…
“This book and the images within define a generation.”
“An elegant and witty book”
“A very interesting work that many people will see as a mirror of their own behavior […] a book that we should have in our library.”
“Superb project, published exquisitely…”
“I already have my book and I absolutely recommend it! The content is delicious and the most delicate edition I’ve seen in a long time!”
“Antonio Perez Rio’s Masterpieces is the “non plus ultra” about the use of mobile in museums. With a relevant reflection, with great sense of humor and very well designed.”
“I did not have such a complete experience since the disappearance of the edition of Playboy on paper, in the graphic, and the reading of Galatea 2.0 by Richard Powers, in the textual.”
Antonio Pérez Río (Madrid, 1972) has a degree in Law and a diploma in Social Education. After working for more than 10 years as an educator and improving his skills for writing and photography, he founded LENS School of Visual Arts, the school he has been directing ever since.
Masterpieces has been exhibited in the group exhibitions Track and Trace (curated by Lize Rubens, Kortrijk, 2021) and All Art Is Photography (curated by David Campany at the Biennale für Aktuelle Fotografie, Mannheim, 2020). The book of the same name has won the Ciudad de Móstoles Artist Book Award and has been a finalist for the Best Book of the Year Awards Photoespaña 2019, Fotolibro Latinoamericano 2018 and Felifa 2018, in addition to having been selected to participate in the collective exhibitions SCAN Photobooks ( Tarragona) and Here We Live (Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg), among others. With his dummy Louvre-Art Guide for Cyborgs was a finalist for the Kassel Fotobookfestival Dummy Award. This project was exhibited for the first time individually at the Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur (India, 2017), within the framework of the Jaipur Photo festival curated by Federica Chiocchietti.
Finalist of the Ankaria Photo Award 2021 for his work The Metamorphoses. Finalist of the 20 Fotopres La Caixa Grant for his series Mapping Kigali (2014). His photographic project The Inevitable was published in OjodePez and British Journal of Photography and was the subject of an individual exhibition in 2015 at CEART Tomás y Valiente (Fuenlabrada).
MASTERPIECES – THE SERIES
Masterpieces is not only a book, it is also a series of fiction based on real events: the publication of the book itself and the efforts of a misunderstood author to reach the world with his work.