Stunning Paintings on Natural Materials Pay Homage to the Northern Renaissance

Mymodernmet_ Inspired by Pieter Bruegel, Hieronymus Bosch, and other great masters of the Northern Renaissance, photorealist painter Chris Oh looks to the past for fresh inspiration. In his recent solo exhibition at Capsule Shanghai, Oh showed off a collection of paintings that merge a passion for nature with a love for this time in art history.

Using materials such as shells and antique wood as a canvas, Oh shows off his masterful ability to replicate the work of these Old Masters. Pieter Bruegel's The Hunters in the Snow is placed onto a burl slab, allowing the wood to create a natural frame for the wintery scene. In Shimmer, we see a portion of a woman's face, tears streaming down her cheeks. Taken from Rogier van der Weyden's Descent from the Cross, which was painted around 1435, the choice to paint the piece on a seashell is a wonderful homage.

In the Renaissance, seashells were symbols of the Immaculate Conception. The women in van der Weyden's painting weep as Christ is taken down from the cross, which was, at the time, a stunning conclusion to this miracle. By creating this new dialogue with the past, Oh allows a contemporary audience to appreciate the aesthetic value of the past while also admiring the painter's ability to modernize it.

“Oh’s covetous act of painting details of Northern Renaissance images onto artificial and natural objects, driven by a fascination with the natural world and knowledge systems, asserts the artist’s revelation that humans have always co-existed with objects of varied temporalities,” writes Fiona He in a text for the exhibition.