Thomas Woodruff, the chair of the BFA Illustration and Cartooning Department, is debuting a new series of paintings in NYC this fall. “Thomas Woodruff’s Solar System (The Turning Heads)” opens at P.P.O.W. Gallery, 555 West 25th Street, and is running October 10 – November 15 (there is an opening-night reception on Friday, October 10, 6 – 8pm).
The show features works doubly inspired by the “upside-down head” visual parlor trick—in which a single image reveals two distinct images when the piece is turned around—and composer Gustav Holt’s The Planets Suite. Woodruff’s two-headed planet paintings are rendered in acrylic on back-silk velvet and are attached to motors that turn each piece so the viewer can observe the dual heads embedded in each image (the final image, depicting the sun, is executed on linen). Drawing on everything from Japanese illustration styles and comics to tribal totems and van art, the artworks in “Thomas Woodruff’s Solar System (The Turning Heads)” are dualistic puzzles designed to earn a second look.
Image: Thomas Woodruff, Venus: The object of affection/The demon of lust, 2007–2008; courtesy of the artist and P.P.O.W. Gallery.