5 November, 2004, p 13.


"Peony 2003" by Katinka Matson

PALAZZO ROSSO Photographic Exhibition of American Artist

The flowers of Katinka Matson "grow" in the computer

Those who have met her say that Katinka Matson is a fascinating and elegant New York intellectual, exactly like her works of photographic flower combinations which are on display on the ground floor of Palazzo Rosso, in her "Flowers" Exhibition.

The setup is reminiscent of a greenhouse and images are hanging on a bamboo fence. The visitor is met by a soundtrack (scored by the composer Andre Liberovici) that simulates the chirping of birds

Matson, who does not like being defined as a photographer, uses a particular technique, the same one commonly used to document scientific experiments. She sets her flower combinations on a flat-bed scanner. The technology available today is so refined that it produces images so vivid that no technological device has ever before made possible. The photographs look three-dimensional, they have amazing depth and they reproduce the sensuousness of the composition.

But what does this whole thing have to do with the Festival of Science?

Matson is not only an artist. She's also the founder of the literary agency Brockman, Inc, that represents the most important scientists in the world. "I was looking for some original art notions when I came across her work on an internet site," says Maria Perosini, art critic and the woman in charge of the art program for the Festival of Science. "I was struck by the formal quality of the images and I was intrigued by all the implicit connections among the art and sciences that her work is based upon. Katinka's works are reminiscent of the works of Mapplethorpe or of Georgia O'Keeffe. They're also interesting from a botanical point of view because the technique she uses makes visible a lot of details that would be otherwise be hard to grasp."

L. Gu.


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