Friday, 18 February 2011

Not a cover but a new layer

As I wrote in my last post, Martha Wainwright's recordings of the Piaf songs add new layers to originals that are very much still present. The spirit of Piaf is there, as she says in the video.

There's a rich tradition of this sort of layering in the visual arts of course as I was reminded when I saw this: the photographer Tom Hunter in his work "Woman reading a possession order" twists and builds on Vermeer's famous "A girl reading at an open window". The interior of a 17th century middle-class Dutch home has become a London squat in the 1990's, the fruit a baby, the love letter an eviction order. Beautiful, poignant and thought-provoking, like all great art.

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