In 2008 I moved into a new condo and wanted to make something really cool out of it. I batted around a few ideas for a mural to paint on the living room wall, but one thing was certain: it needed to be big. I had just painted a mural for a local community center and was riding high on some new-found confidence in my painting ability. I’ve always been more into drawing, liking the control of pencil and ink over messy brushes and paint.
Picasso’s Guernica became the project. To recreate the modern art masterpiece. Breaking down the original into little pieces—like a mechanic taking apart a car, seeing how it all fits together, and then building it back up—was an amazing process.
From Wikipedia: “Guernica is a painting by Pablo Picasso. It was created in response to the bombing of Guernica, Basque Country, by German and Italian warplanes at the behest of the Spanish Nationalist forces, on 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War. The Spanish Republican government commissioned Picasso to create a large mural for the Spanish display at the Paris International Exposition at the 1937 World’s Fair in Paris. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace. On completion Guernica was displayed around the world in a brief tour, becoming famous and widely acclaimed. This tour helped bring the Spanish Civil War to the world’s attention.”
A look at my process recreating Picasso’s Guernica…
Angela Wilson (above). Ben Kane (below). He needed a haircut but we got a few epic “before” shots.
A self portrait (below). Some camera tech/behind the scenes for the photo nerds: Since I was photographing myself the camera had to be on a tripod and triggered by remote, held out of frame. The camera was a 5D mk II tethered to my computer, tethered to my TV, so the images could be immediately played back and reviewed. 5 flashes (three 580 EX II’s and two 430 EX II’s) were synced by Pocket Wizards (Mini TT1 and Flex TT5). The key and fill lights were both shot through umbrellas to soften them up, and a white reflector filled in the chin area. The two back lights, left and right, were flagged off from the lens by those little cards. The final flash was used to light the backdrop, with a mini soft box on it. Lens: 50mm 1.2L. Camera settings: ISO 400, f16, 1/200th. I guess I sorta look like a serial killer in the BTS shot :-)