The From Life exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts opened on 11 December and I thought it would be worth going to during my days off between Christmas and the new year.
If you do decide to pay a visit, I would suggest starting in the Sackler Wing by the historical paintings of the Royal Academy life drawing room and ending in the Tennant Gallery with the virtual reality. And if you have access to Sky Arts at home is to watch Royal Academy: Painting the Future.
I’m pretty impressed by how a couple of the artists have embraced new technology like virtual reality. Also how all the artists have their own way in viewing the human body.
Before Christmas, I purchased the accompanying book to the exhibition and I am pretty glad that I did as it gave me more context to what I was seeing. It is a shame that not all the works in the book were on display. I would liked to have seen a few more pieces that did not depict the human body as object but more, shall we say, human. However, this is the Royal Academy of Arts and not the National Portrait Gallery.
This exhibition has made me really think. How do artists create life in a portrait? Can you really create a sculpture in virtual reality? With virtual reality are we going to do away with art galleries? Should we treat people as objects?
As you leave the Sackler wing you are confronted with Jenny Saville’s Entry which is a large image of what appears to be a woman with a battered face. Is this a message to not forget humans have feelings and can get hurt.
From Life is on until 11 March 2018.