Throughout the history of art new tendencies can be revealed by the methods used by artists to portray the image of a human being. Portraits can be detailed paintings, a picture, a black and white drawing, or even an image on a computer screen. The current exhibition of The Mattress Factory shows how the technology of the present time relates to portraiture and the numerous manners to depict a human being in a piece of art.
This exhibition called Likeness shows for instance multiple portraits of artist Nikki S. Lee layered upon each other to show different perceptions of her face. It also has a room with split pictures of people showing a different facial expression on each half of the picture so that the image can reveal two different emotions. Some of the art work combine creative ideas with a traditional concept of portraits, like a display of pictures of people dressed in a Statue of Liberty outfit.
There are also permanent exhibitions at The Mattress Factory. Many of these involve humans senses, particularly sight. For example, there is a dark corridor with a ramp that leads to an apparently completely dark room. However, after a moment it is possible to see a light at the end of the room which was inconspicuous at first. Another good example is a room with a big purple rectangle at the far wall that appears to be only the projection of a light. However, as you get closer to it, you realize it is actually a room with ultraviolet light inside.
All those pieces of art demonstrate that it is possible to have many perceptions on how to depict a person or on how people interact with their surroundings. It is interesting to see the creativity of the artists that did not limit their work within the boundaries of traditional concepts of art. The most interesting feature of the Mattress Factory is the diversity of ideas which makes each exhibition unique.