See what a bustling Canaletto scene would look like emptied of people

José Manuel Ballester version the View of the Basin of San Marco from the Punta della Dogana

When the Spanish artist José Manuel Ballester originally decided to make his Concealed Spacesseries, he never thought it would prove so prescient. The photographic series, which started to take shape more than a decade ago, reimagine what classical works of art would look like when the human figures are removed, resulting in vivid scenes emptied of their occupants. As Coronavirus swept across the globe and major cities went into lockdown, Ballesters concept struck a sympathetic nerve with a homebound public and was widely shared online. Now, the artist is back at work, creating a new piece to help Italys reopened Pinacoteca de Brera with its fundraising campaign.

Canalletos View of the Basin of San Marco from the Punta della Dogana, from the collection of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan

Ballester is basing this new piece on Canalletos View of the Basin of San Marco from the Punta della Dogana, from the collection of the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milan, will be part of the museums “Donate Gold” drive. Ballester chose Canalettos work because the Old Master “depicts the world in full activity with people moving through the Venetian streets,” he says. In Ballesters work “the people disappear until the space is left totally empty”. The piece is being created with the help of Haltadefinizione, a high-resolution photographic lab which helps manage the reproduction rights of Italian patrimony.

This is not the first time a work from Concealed Spaces series, which includes more than 50 pieces, has been used to raise awareness. Birth of Venus, a take on Botticellis famous canvas showing just a bare half shell, was used on social media for International Womens Day in 2019. And a few years before that, Ballesters eerily empty Raft of the Medusa was used to represent the plight of Middle Eastern refugees risking their lives tocross the Mediterranean and reach Europe.

But neither time, Ballester says, were his piRead More – Source