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Marc Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, George Clooney...and a photo booth on steroids


I recently met up with Chicago-based new-media artist Lincoln Schatz??hose subjects include Jeff Bezos and Craig Newmark of Craigslist?at the Hearst Building in New York. Lincoln was installing a commissioned piece in the mezzanine, which will make its debut this fall (you can see a preview on his site). Schatz invites celebrities into a giant, immaculate white cube, where they’re asked to simply be themselves for an hour. The cube’s outfitted with many digital video cameras, which take footage of them. The apparatus is a chic, sleek photo booth on steroids.

For Hearst’s publication Esquire, Schatz has been capturing a diverse group of people: George Clooney, LeBron James, John Maeda, and Marc Jacobs, among many others. Images will appear in the September issue of the publication.

Schatz has come up with proprietary software that remixes the images, creating a moving collage. The collages are shown on flat-screen monitors that hang on a wall like a painting or are configured into a towerlike sculpture, as the display at Hearst appears. What I find interesting about Schatz is that he’s updating the idea of portraiture, as well as the notion of art. The software plays the roles of both artist and art. The portraits are always in flux. And they’ve been catching the eye of tech types, including Apple’s Director of Mobile Mac Systems; and a Lincoln Schatz work is on view at Qualcomm’s headquarters.


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