Gallery: Video Art: Saatchi Face Parade |
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Saatchi Face Parade

Too long in the tooth by now to be excited by a Saatchi gallery full of conceptual art, I can still respond to the proprietor’s own undoubted originality, if not to the putative brilliance of the myriad new artists he forever keeps discovering on the floor of the forest. They can’t all be clever. He, on the other hand, is clever enough to cook up a video logo like this one for “Saatchi Online TV”, the webcasting arm of the Saatchi Gallery. If he didn’t concoct the idea personally, he had the wit and the good taste to approve it, so let’s give him the credit. A decisive contribution to the success of the video is that all the painted heads are classics without exception. Melting one into the next in remorseless progression, the parade of female faces would make a good test for final year History of Art students. For each face they would have to name the painter while they had time. Many of them would fail, and I’m bound to say that after more than half a century of looking at pictures I could get only about half of the names at the first pass. A miniature international gallery of beautiful things, the video gains an extra beauty of its own from the way the faces replace each other so smoothly. It’s a quietly stunning indication of just how good the computer software has become at filling in the stages of a transition, although the trick would not have worked if the human beings who prepared it had not had their memories well stocked with formal echoes at a feasible proximity to one another. My thanks to Cécile Menon for discovering this video and realising straight away that we should link to it. The video starts at top left as soon as you click through. Prepare to be enchanted. 

Go to Saatchi Online TV.

[ Archive Editor's note, December 2020: This video is no longer available from the original source. ]