The MN Twins: Bly And Rowan Pope

The brothers bring their photorealistic works to Mia

A portrait found at The MN Twins: Bly and Rowan Pope exhibit at Minneapolis Institute of Art.

photo by charles walbridge


The MN Twins: Bly And Rowan Pope 2/17–10/28

Two famous works of photorealism hang in two Minneapolis museums: Chuck Close’s huge self-portrait at the Walker, and another of someone named Frank at Mia. They’re close-ups in acrylic, every hair and fine line etched into photo-esque likeness. The technique underscores the near-infinite details of the face. But photorealism tells a different, more twisted story when its subject plumbs fantasy—as if someone had actually snapped a black-and-white shot of this Wonderland-like scene of orchestral pomp surrounding an emaciated “starving artist” figure now featured at Mia. St. Paul-based twin brothers Bly and Rowan Pope set up their first museum show at the Minneapolis arts center after thousands of hours spent drawing photorealistic works in graphite. Bly sketches ordinary people and overlooked sights while Rowan dips into narrative tableaux. 

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