Charles Bell's Rolls of Canvas
Caravaggio canvas xlg


Charles Bell


Rolls of canvas cloth


Creates paintings that become real-world objects


User will develop a temporary fascination with kitschy old toys


Touching a photograph to the canvas

Collected by

Artie Nielson



Date of Collection

January 9th, 1998



Charles Bell was one of America's first photorealism artists. His style was to take a picture of an everyday object, (a recurring theme being antique toys), and then painting the object onto a canvas. He described the process as "bringing pictorial beauty and wonder to the mundane".


When a photograph of an object is placed onto the canvas an exact painted likeness of the object will appear. The painted object will seem to "jump out" of the canvas, becoming a real object. The canvas will remain the same, without any sign of use.

The canvas has been used to reproduce look-alike objects that must be switched out for actual artifacts.


Artie collected the canvas from a high school in New York. Apparently Bell's family donated several boxes of his art supplies to the school. One student was about to create a photorealistic reproduction of a picture from National Geographic. Imagine her surprise when an actual rhino appeared in the classroom. The school was quickly evacuated, the rhino donated to the zoo, and the canvas was confiscated by the Warehouse.

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