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Chadwick and Spector - The Making of St. Mary Magdalene, after Dolci

Updated on November 10, 2010

Behind the Scenes with Chadwick and Spector

I have been working on the project, Museum Anatomy, since 1994, with my collaborator, Chadwick Gray.  Together, we find 19th century paintings from around the world (usually existing in storage facilities), and I recreate them onto his body in water-based paint and use photography to document the ephemeral performance.

The paintings take up to 15 hours to create and have only been created in public a handful of times.  We recently acquired a plant cam, which helps us to videotape the entire painting in a time-lapse mode, so viewers can enjoy the entire length of the painting in just a few minutes at most.

Time-Lapse In-Process Creation of The Making of St. Mary Magdalene, after Dolci, by Chadwick and Spector

Saint Mary Magdalene, after Dolci, by Chadwick and Spector

A behind the scene peek at the artwork of Chadwick and Spector creating one of the works from their series, Museum Anatomy.
A behind the scene peek at the artwork of Chadwick and Spector creating one of the works from their series, Museum Anatomy. | Source

How We Do It

You would think after working together for nearly 16 years, these paintings would run like clockwork, however there is still a tremendous amount of experimenting that goes on with them. Sometimes, it can get confusing to my eyes the wrapped painting on top of folded skin.  It can be very similar to painting a puzzle.

The painting to the right, was created in 2010 and as my skill as a painter improves, I am able to create more complex paintings on the human body. 

In other examples of the Museum Anatomy work, you can see we have begun making plaster casts off of Chadwick's body and incorporating them into the painting to help create even more interesting illusions.

If you are interested in seeing more examples of this work, please visit our website at www.chadwickandspector.com.  Or, if you would like updates of our newest paintings, please "Like" us on our Facebook Fan Page

Recently, I've been making products of our work such as mugs, t-shirts and posters for art lovers that want to collect our images.  These can be found at our PaintNaked store on Zazzle.

If you have any questions about our process with our Museum Anatomy process, please ask and I'll try to answer them!


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    • Laura Spector profile imageAUTHOR

      Laura Spector 

      7 years ago from Chiang Mai, Thailand

      Thanks Anaya and John! Very happy to share with you. Cheers!

    • JohnBarret profile image

      JohnBarret 

      7 years ago

      what an idea, amazing

    • Anaya M. Baker profile image

      Anaya M. Baker 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Really amazing! I love the use of the time-lapse camera!

    working

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