"Probing the Picasso Lobe: Visual Art and the Brain"
March/April Issue, 2006
On the Cover: After The Mona Lisa 2, 2005 by Devorah Sperber. Medium: 5,184 spools of thread, aluminum ball chain, stainless-steel hanging apparatus, clear acrylic viewing sphere, metal stand. Dimensions: 85”h x 86”w (thread spools), 2" viewing sphere. Courtesy of the artist.
The Mona Lisa 2 debuted at the 2005 Ljubljana Print Biennale and will
be included in a solo exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum of Art opening
in January 2007. When the thread spool installation is viewed directly,
the image of the Mona Lisa is upside down. A clear acrylic viewing sphere
rotates the image 180 degrees like the human eye, and shrinks or condenses
the thread-spool “pixels” into a recognizable image. But unlike the original
painting, in which the smile is best seen with peripheral vision, as studied
by Margaret Livingstone [see page 6], by slowly moving the sphere up,
down, left, and right, the distortion of the sphere causes the smile to
appear, morph, and disappear using central vs. peripheral vision.