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By David Finkelstein | October 25, 2011

An artist, Prudence Whittlesey, is painting in her large, sunny studio. A nude woman model reclines on a platform. This short, wordless video uses a blurring effect so that objects in the frame are constantly forming trails of color, with the body of the model occasionally emerging from the swirling mass as a surprisingly solid form. This effect, appropriately enough, creates the look of an impressionist painting. The sound texture, ‘cello music performed by Mackenzie Pierce and mixed with ambient sounds, similarly expresses a constantly shifting flow of energy.

This video beautifully captures something I have never seen before in a film: the relationship between an artist and a model, particularly when it is considered as a constantly changing stream of color and light, which is how some artists experience the active process of looking at a model and making a picture. Pierce has used simple means to capture something of the process of making art, and of vision in general.

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