Embedded iPad helps artist really get into his work


Skype for iPad
Above: art supplies.
Photo: Skype

A painting by artist Jorge Pardo is taking work away from bull-slinging gallery explainers.

The piece, which is currently showing at Art Basel in Miami, depicts an impressionist version of the artist on a slide at a water park. It comes from a photograph his daughter took and looks really cool, but that’s not the most interesting part of the work.

That honor belongs to the iPad set into the lower-right corner of the piece that can let anyone who walks by connect to Pardo via Skype.

“I wanted to make a painting you could speak through,” Pardo told Artnet via an interview through that iPad. “It’s partly a response to the notion that paintings can ‘speak’ to you, which is bullshit. It’s about the reflexivity of inanimate objects.”

Pardo is a Mexico-based artist known for his sculptural work, which toes the line between form and function. It includes some really sharp-looking candle lamps and a desk that looks simultaneously free-flowing organic and meticulously designed.

If you have $75,000 handy, you can buy the work (and the iPad), but we don’t know if Pardo’s Skype invitation extends outside of the gallery setting. It probably should to keep the piece from losing its meaning, but that’s a lot of commitment on both sides of that deal.