01/25/2012 01:58 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'Making Faces' Explodes History Of Portraiture At Opera Gallery (PHOTOS)

The portrait (up there with landscapes, nudes and religious icons) is one of the great themes enduring throughout art history. For centuries artists have worked to capture and recreate the human essence of their subject, and managed to achieve this mission through accurate representation of physical features, but these days, well ... you'll see.

The Opera Gallery's monstrous new exhibition 'Making Faces' includes a global glance at portraiture in all its glory, from classical renditions to avant-garde explorations. Judith Supine collages a surrealist scrapheap that seems to glow from within while David Mach constructs a Picasso remix out of matchsticks. (Don't worry, there is a real Picasso in there too.)

'Making Faces' will feature work from Gerard Rancinan, Karel Appel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Bengt Lindstrom, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Simon Birch, Lita Cabellut, Sas Christian, Paul Insect, Dinorah Delfin, Lori Earley, John John Jesse, Kid Zoom, Ron English, Philippe Pasqua, Rostarr, Judith Supine, Xiao Gang Zhang, Tianbing Li, Alexandros Vasmoulakis, Maura Corda, David Mach, Yasmina Alaoui and Marco Guerra, Yan Pei Ming, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Bernard Buffet and BÄST, B.

"White Knicks" by Judith Supine

"Picasso Cubist Woman" by David Mach

The works don't evolve -- they explode. Some of the later works are more traditional than the earliest, but there is no culminating answer, no grand finale to the piece. However, there is a drool-worthy collection of past legends and contemporary icons that probably will never be in the same room ever again. This explosion of a classical theme shows just how playful portraiture can be, just as the exhibition name ('making faces') suggests. And if you're going to play, you might as well do it in the company of the art world's finest, right?

The exhibition will show at The Opera Gallery from January 27 to February 19.

Making Faces