Blackwater Ophelia, by Adad Hannah
Pierre François Ouelette Art Contemporain/Centre Space (65 George, 416-323-1373) To May 31
Adad Hannah has gained an international following for his photographic reproductions of well-known paintings. At his Centre Space show, he restages John Everett Millais's pre-Raphaelite kitsch masterpiece Ophelia.
"Millais's Ophelia was one of the paintings I remembered from summer trips to Europe I took as a young adult," Hannah recalls. "I have done remakes of well-known works a couple of times before and always like to try and get close to the original while allowing some space for experimentation and deviation along the way."
Every element of the landscape was meticulously built, painted and assembled.
"The photograph was shot inside of a wooden crate on wheels filled with water and covered in fake flowers. I often shoot in a built set. The act of taking something apart and rebuilding a facsimile in the studio is a process I very much enjoy.
"The biggest challenge is to keep pushing forward with an idea that one is not sure will work. I end up doing this over and over, which is quite stressful from a production standpoint but productive from a conceptual standpoint.
"I just keep working away with some kind of blind faith that eventually things will work themselves out through experimentation. And they usually do."