In 2011, artist Emma Hack gained international popularity when her work was featured in the music video for Gotye’s grammy-winning song, “Somebody That I Used to Know.” Now, through February and March, the Australian artist has her first solo exhibition, “Undercover.” The show, housed at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in New York City, features photographs of women who blend in perfectly with the intricate patterns behind them. Hack selected the patterns from the archives of the iconic wallpaper designer, Florence Broadhurst.
At the opening reception for her show, Hack painted a live model in the gallery, providing an opportunity for viewers to see her unusual process. Hack spends hours meticulously painting the models in her photographs. Because she uses real women as canvases, all her work needs to be done in one sitting – a process that can be tiring for both the artist and the model. Each photograph usually takes a total of 8 – 15 hours to complete. Then, like Buddhist mandalas, Hack’s work is washed away almost as soon as it’s done.
Hack’s works show that camouflage can be beautiful and evocative. In each piece, a person becomes one with her environment. She becomes part of a fantasy, part of an artistic vision. Although she’s hidden, she draws people to look closely at the patterns she inhabits. Hopefully, the success of Emma Hack’s solo debut will prompt more shows from this unique camouflage artist.
To see the full collection of Hack’s photographs, visit her website, here.