In his new exhibition at White Cube, “Self Portraits,” the painter Raqib Shaw insinuates himself into classics by the Old Masters. You’ll find him in the canvases below—carefully modeled after work by Antonello da Messina and Hendrick van Steenwyck the Younger, among others—posing as a joker, a mime, and a ghost lying in his own coffin. Shaw, born in Calcutta, was raised in Kashmir and moved to London in 1998. In his paintings, the critic Norman Rosenthal has written, “Color achieves an almost blinding intensity and precision that exists in both a horrific, and beautiful universe derived from personal experience based on self-knowledge and dream psychology … mixed with a profound love and understanding of the history of visual and poetic culture of both East and West.”
Raqib Shaw’s self-portraits are at White Cube through September 11.
Raqib Shaw, Self Portrait in the Study at Peckham, after Vincenzo Catena (Kashmir version), 2015, acrylic and enamel on birchwood, 39 3/8″ x 51 3/16″. © Raqib Shaw. Photo © Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd Courtesy White Cube.
Vincenzo Catena, Saint Jerome in his Study, ca. 1510.
Raqib Shaw, Self Portrait in the Study at Peckham (A Reverie after Antonello de Messina’s Saint Jerome) II, 201–-2014, acrylic, enamel and rhinestones on birch wood, 75 9/16″ x 59 13/16″. © Raqib Shaw. Photo © White Cube (George Darrell)
Antonello da Messina, Saint Jerome in His Study, ca. 1475.
Raqib Shaw, Self Portrait in the Studio at Peckham (After Steenwyck the Younger) II, 2014–2015, acrylic, enamel, and rhinestones on birchwood, 84″ x 59 15/16″. © Raqib Shaw. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby).
Hendrick van der Steenwyck the Younger and Follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder, Croesus and Solon, ca. 1610.
Raqib Shaw, The Purification of the Temple (After Venusti) II, 2014–2015, acrylic and enamel on birchwood, 108 1/16″ x 72 1/16″. © Raqib Shaw. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby).
Marcello Venusti, The Purification of the Temple, after 1550.
Raqib Shaw, Self Portrait in the Sculpture Studio at Peckham (After Mocetto), acrylic and enamel on birchwood, 84 1/16″ x 60 1/16″. Raqib Shaw. Photo © White Cube (Ben Westoby).
Gerolamo Mocetto, The Massacre of the Innocents, about 1500–25.