Lisa Blas Finds Twins for the ‘Times,’ for Our Times

THE DAILY PIC: On her Web site, Blas pairs fine art and front-page photos.

Lisa Blas

THE DAILY PIC (#1768): Every Monday since 2015, New York artist Lisa Blas has been posting a pair of images on her Web site. One is the lead photo on the front page of that day’s New York Times. The other is a work of art she has chosen to show with it.

Sometimes her images are twinned because they somehow rhyme, in color or line or composition. On other Mondays there has been an almost comic, or maybe satirical, contrast between her two pictures. But I’m particularly fond of pairings like the one I’ve chosen as today’s Daily Pic, where the echoes have mostly to do with content.

On Monday July 6, 2015, Blas twinned an image of turmoil in today’s Greece with a gorgeous Greek coin—a stater—minted almost 2,500 years earlier and now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There’s a telling contrast, of course, between current disarray and earlier ideals of order. But the pairing also worked, for me, as a reminder of the political and economic realities that lurk behind every object that has found a home in a museum—and especially objects as vexed as gold coins. Think of the ships launched in their pursuit, the cities looted, the people subjugated. You wonder if the beauty of this stater was deliberately conceived to pull our attention away from all that. I propose a new term that Blas has conjured: Goldwashing.

We’ll have to see what she conjures on Monday. (Image courtesy Lisa Blas)

For a full survey of past Daily Pics visit blakegopnik.com/archive.


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