London’s National Gallery is known for housing the most talented and famed artists through the years, so their upcoming homage to Venetian master Titian is, though exciting, quite predictable. However, what is utterly unexpected is the tribute by Turner prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger, simply dubbed “Diana.” In the piece, museum goers fumble through a dark room, looking through peepholes to spy on naked women in a bathroom. Shocking, awkward, transgressive, thoughtful and absurd, it is a piece Renaissance art buffs can surely enjoy with their favorite creepy uncle.
“Diana” is part of the epic exhibition “Metamorphosis: Titian 2012,” in which contemporary artists respond to works by the 16th century painter, still widely regarded as unparalleled in his portrayal of movement, color and flesh. The core of the show is the long-awaited collaboration of three of Titian’s most beloved works, “Diana and Actaeon, The Death of Actaeon” and “Diana and Callisto,” shown together for the first time since the 18th century.
Wallinger’s piece responds to the myth of Diana and Actaeon, in which the hunter Actaeon accidentally stumbles upon the pure and beautiful goddess Diana while bathing. Displeased by this uninvited voyeurism and eager for revenge, Diana turns Actaeon into a stag and he is soon eaten by his own dogs. The paintings were so risqué in the 16th century they had to be covered by a curtain in the presence of ladies, but today they would probably fail to make a child blush. That is where Wallinger comes in.
CONTINUED at the Huffington Post. Video and photos at link.