sun 21/07/2024

Photographic Gallery: Grace Jones Portraits by Chris Levine | reviews, news & interviews

Photographic Gallery: Grace Jones Portraits by Chris Levine

Photographic Gallery: Grace Jones Portraits by Chris Levine

A (literally) moving portrait of the ever-moving Grace Jones

Grace Jones with laser and crystal bowler hat by Chris LevineChris Levine

One can hardly imagine the spiky dervish Grace Jones sitting still for a second, let alone remaining motionless long enough to have photographs (and plenty of them) taken for her portrait. Nevertheless, Chris Levine has managed to pin her down - in a manner of speaking.

Levine's exhibition at the Vinyl Factory - Stillness at the Speed of Light - captures the performance artist's restless activity in a very clever way: several of his portraits are in fact lenticular 3D portraits - holograms. Having shot many images of Grace's face in motion, Levine layers them and illuminates them with acid colours and lasers. When you walk past the portrait, her eyes demurely flutter open or shut or she sways slightly.

The laser beam bouncing off Jones' crystal bowler was Levine's contribution to her recent show at the Albert Hall, and he has made it a motif for this one, Jones' impassive stare daring you to look on as light shoots towards you. Levine used this technique most famously with a portrait of the Queen, but it works especially well with Jones: for her, a machine of perpetual motion, only a moving portrait will do.

The most spectacular piece in the show is perhaps impossible to capture. By cutting an image of Jones into tiny vertical strips and feeding them into a flickering column of light, you see nothing when you stare directly at it, but as soon as you turn away, it appears in a flash in your peripheral vision, and disappears as quickly. Another perfect metaphor for Jones' heightened speed.

Share this article

Add comment

Subscribe to

Thank you for continuing to read our work on For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters