The most talked-about L.A. gallery show this year, “Twin Visions: Jerome Witkin & Joel-Peter Witkin,” pairs two formerly estranged identical twins, each of whom is arguably the most accomplished living artist in his genre, and neither of whom had been particularly interested in exhibiting together before now. It's an unprecedented, years-in-the-making, art-nerd wish-list show of epic proportions, and a testimony to Jack Rutberg's tenacity when art history is at stake. Despite their decades of separation, it turns out, Jerome's portrait, landscape and history paintings and Joel-Peter's hand-crafted photographic portraiture share much more than anyone (except maybe Rutberg) ever expected. Jerome Witkin produces paintings that are evocative and emotional, realistic and fantastical, eccentric and classical — and he's not afraid to take on unsettling themes, most famously his Holocaust cycle. Joel-Peter Witkin is an icon of the Juxtapoz set, whose richly detailed, large-format portraits of individuals with, let's say, unique anatomical and sexual curiosities, can be as hard to look at as Jerome's most visceral scenes. But also like his twin's, they are romantic, surreal and unforgettable. So, yeah, they have a lot in common. A new book on this landmark occasion (with the same title as the show) is the first publication examining them as a pair; it will be signed by both brothers at the gallery tonight. Aside from the profound revelations in this stylistically comprehensive survey, the interaction between these brothers' followings is itself something to behold, as Joel-Peter's alt-culture, goth and punk fan base mixes with Jerome's crowd of art historians and studio painters. Book or no book, the show is up for another month; grab your evil twin and go. Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, 357 N. La Brea Ave., Fairfax; Sat., Aug. 9. 6-9 p.m.; free, book is $40. Exhibition continues Tue.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; through Aug. 30. (323) 938-5222, jackrutbergfinearts.com.
Sat., Aug. 9, 6 p.m., 2014
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