Posted by & filed under Exhibitions.

It looks like a new master is giving the old a run for their money.

Anyone who has studied art or taken an interest in the Renaissance is probably familiar with ‘chiaroscuro’, the Italian term meaning light and dark. It’s a style of painting associated with the Old Masters (think Rembrandt and Caravaggio) to create a more dramatic, three-dimensional effect. Applying this technique to photography is not new but this controversial artist has once again proven his mastery, if you’ll pardon the pun, and taken it to another level.

His contrasting use of light and shade is definitely striking but it’s the sculptural qualities of his subjects that are mesmerising. These slender young bodies look cold, weathered and somehow ‘hurt’. Their flesh is marbled with muted tones, polished and glistening. Expressions are vacant, glazed and inscrutable. The overall effect is beautiful, haunting and, as one viewer put it, otherworldly.

Sure, there are a couple of landscapes thrown in the mix and a shot of a colourful, almost abstract-looking floral blur that seems strangely out of place. But this is really all about the body.

It’s a far cry from happy snaps but if you have a spare $30,000 you could happily snap up one of these Henson masterpieces. (CS)

Until Oct 13, Roslyn Oxley 9, 8 Soudan Ln, Paddington, 9331 1919,