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A closer look: 'The Seduction of St. Thomas (After Caravaggio)' by The Lavender Hinge

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Title: "The Seduction of St. Thomas (After Caravaggio)" // Artist: The Lavender Hinge (Lisa Z. Morgan and Eric Magnuson) // Inaugural exhibition in The Lavender Hinge Showroom, through July 11

The worlds of fashion and conceptual art merge seamlessly in the work of artists Lisa Z. Morgan and Eric Magnuson, working together in a collaborative project they call "The Lavender Hinge." A selection of their recent work, made of high-end fabric tailored to the size and shape of traditional paintings and modified with strategically placed slits and tailor's marks, goes on view Friday in their new gallery space in the Belesario building.

The piece above is based on Caravaggio's famous painting, "The Incredulity of Saint Thomas," in which the apostle pokes his finger into Christ's wounds to quell his doubts about his leader's divinity. In their minimalistic interpretation of Caravaggio's painting and the event it portrays, Magnuson and Morgan have stripped the painting of everything but its central element -- the wound itself.

The artists describe the gashes on their paintings as enlarged buttonholes of the kind you'd find on men's suit jackets. But that's just a convenient diving board at the edge of a vast sea of other meanings and interpretations.

In each new painting, according to a statement, the symbol "swiftly develops into a cipher with an expanding vocabulary, with each fabric employed creating a fresh interpretation." In this case, the symbol may represent anything from man's innate curiosity to more discomfiting connections evoked by the painting's title. It's up to the viewer to decide.

Here's Caravaggio's original:

Caravaggio_-_The_Incredulity_of_Saint_Thomas

--Colin Dabkowski

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