Nina Katchadourian, Artist, Recreates Flemish Paintings In Airplane Lavatory (PHOTOS)

Artist Nina Katchadourian has a creative way of passing the time on a long-haul flights: She recreates famous Flemish paintings. In a series she has dubbed "Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style,” Katchadourian poses gracefully, like the member of a very exclusive, very old mile-high club who just happens to be hanging out in a tiny bathroom.

Katchadourian told The Huffington Post by email that the images are part of her larger, 2-year "Seat Assignment" project, which "involves making art while I'm in flight using only my cellphone and what I find around me."

It's an odd way to travel, certainly, but an inventive way to create art.

As she says on her site,

While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture. I decided to add more images made in this mode and planned to take advantage of a long-haul flight from San Francisco to Auckland, guessing that there were likely to be long periods of time when no one was using the lavatory on the 14-hour flight. I made several forays to the bathroom from my aisle seat, and by the time we landed I had a large group of new photographs entitled Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. I was wearing a thin black scarf that I sometimes hung up on the wall behind me to create the deep black ground that is typical of these portraits. There is no special illumination in use other than the lavatory's own lights and all the images are shot hand-held with the camera phone. At the Dunedin Public Art gallery, the photos were framed in faux-historical frames and hung on a deep red wall reminiscent of the painting galleries in museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

More can be found about the artist on her site and at San Francisco's Catherine Clark Gallery, where they are on display through May 26.

Nina Katchadourian