More real than the real thing

More real than the real thing

When Hiroshi Sugimoto decided to photograph wax likenesses of English monarchs, he draped velvety black cloth behind his figures and used a nine-minute exposure. The resulting images, a suite of them on view now at the Getty, are strikingly detailed. Stoic Queen Victoria is so convincingly queenly that you forget you're looking at a replica of an image. It evokes British writer Hilary Mantel's description of seeing Queen Elizabeth up close, looking at Her Majesty like a thing, a figurehead not a person. Then, when the queen turned, and looked back, "as if she had been jabbed in the shoulder," Mantel was jarred and wanted to explain: "it's nothing personal, it's monarchy I'm staring at." 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood; through June 8. (310) 440-7300,
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 4. Continues through June 8, 2014 (Expired: 06/07/14)

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