EYE CANDY

Your Favorite Google Images Are Now Paintings, Thanks to the Artist Sam McKinniss

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

The origin story of Google Images couldn’t be more 21st century: on the evening of the 2000 Grammy Awards, so many people were suddenly clamoring to see Jennifer Lopez‘s plunging green Versace dress that an image searching service was born. Whereas some still prefer to use it to endlessly scroll through J.Lo’s looks on the red carpet, it’s taken on a deeper meaning; for the Brooklyn-based artist Sam McKinniss, it’s even defined his entire artistic practice. Since he was in high school, McKinniss has mined Google for the most emblematic images of pop culture and recreated them as paintings, including everything from paparazzi snapshots of Cher to portraits of a frail Joan Didion. For his latest exhibition, “Neverland,” now on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels, however, he went straight back to the source. While she’s arguably been there all along, there’s a very special guest to be found amidst McKinniss’s signature mix of celebrity portraits and still lifes to contrast: at long last, Lopez has made the cut.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Madonna, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, The Terminator, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Aretha, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Diana, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Michael, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Marilyn, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Tyra, 2015-2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Alice, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.

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© Sam McKinniss. Photo by Matt Kroening, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech Gallery

Sam McKinniss, Jennifer, 2018. Featured in the exhibition “Neverland,” on view at Almine Rech Gallery in Brussels through February 28, 2019.