Forging a Relationship

How two world-renowned artists collaborated, causing us to ask, ‘What is originality?’ By Marlissa Gardner


As a man who virtually single-handedly transformed modern society into a connected consciousness with his devices, Steve Jobs was certainly a credible voice on creativity and originality. He famously said, “Creativity is just connecting things.” Jobs knew that the most simple answer was the obvious solution—but by no means the most popular. 
   The reason we overcomplicate our solutions is because it’s incredibly difficult to discipline one’s self to focus on the smallest change, the most minuscule of variations, the near-imperceptible nuance. This is especially true for artists. Great artists know that what separates their art from others is not their flair or pizazz–though these may be attractive to the causal consumer. 
   What separates truly great artists from their peers is something more subtle, more subterranean: their will to reduce. Pairing down and scraping away what was frivolously applied, revealing the truth of the subject, takes mastery and skill. 


   This concept leads us to micro sculptor, Willard Wigan. Wigan works with both technical tools—a microscope at 600-times magnification—and an organic tool—the hair of a fly—to create his micro works. Wigan recently collaborated with world-famous artist and forger, John Myatt to create the incredible, The Secret in the Eye, an exact recreation of one of the world’s most recognized paintings, the Mona Lisa. 
   At first glance, you may not realize this masterful forgery is actually a completely new idea—a painting within a painting. Myatt applies his remarkable expertise to re-create Da Vinci’s singular work by reconstructing his methods and glazing techniques. The Secret in the Eye’s Mona Lisa draws the viewer in for a closer look. But then Wigan’s 24 karat gold frame and microscopic version of the Mona Lisa, totaling 1 millimeter squared, surprise and delight.

This unique piece challenges us with a question. When does forgery become authentic—when does a copy become an original? It’s curious and a bit amusing to realize that the simple addition of a spec of visual information can transform the meaning and motive of an entire painting. 
   This collaboration is a rare occurrence, producing an even less common outcome: art that surprises, impresses and challenges the status quo. Art has always impacted culture and vice versa. It’s truly amazing to realize that the Mona Lisa is as relevant as ever, lending her likeness to modern works that can influence us in new ways. 
   Emillions Art was thrilled to exhibit The Secret in the Eye at the Palm Beach Art Show and the painting is now on display in Naples at our offices. 

The art consultants of Emillions Art, LLC hold extensive contacts in international art markets and is a respected source for modern and old masterpieces.

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