IAEA on Canvas

by Vannessa Maravilla

While most artists find their muse in their environment such as in nature or the people around them, American artist Lisa Ruyter found her source of inspiration in an unlikely place: the IAEA Board of Governor meetings.

Invited by the IAEA as a journalist, Ruyter was able to observe and photograph the participants within these meetings, alongside other journalists and reporters. The photographs she took on that occasion in turn became blueprints for her latest series entitled, ‘Atoms for Peace.’

Ruyter has taken what is normally seen as an IAEA common meeting and translating it onto canvas to give “an alternative to the reading” of a normal scene. Using bright shades and cool tones, Ruyter’s technique is similar to Andy Warhol’s as she “transcribes” the photographs onto a large plane and renders the areas she chooses with paint and pen.

“What at first appear simple but giant paint-by-number works slowly reveal themselves to be complex arrangements of flat colours with poignant, powerful subject matter. The effect freezes the narrative and pushes it toward, abstraction, and highlights potential subtexts,” states a press release issued by Vienna’s Georg Kargl Fine Arts Gallery. The end result of this endeavour makes normal images of the IAEA Board of Governor meetings into something extraordinary.

Earlier in 2009, Rutyer had 17 paintings from this series on display at the Georg Kargl Fine Arts Gallery in Vienna.