Iconic film director Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, Elephant) is currently showing his first art exhibit in Switzerland featuring interpretations of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Running until Feb. 19, Mona Lisa includes a series of large-scale canvases delivered in gold leaf, crayon, and oil. As one of the most recognizable and popular paintings in the world, Van Sant’s Mona Lisa paintings experiment with pastel and bold colours and draw inspiration from LEGO advertisements. The pixelated paintings, which took years to complete, give off optical illusions that can be absorbed at varying degrees.

As per the press release: “The viewer observing at close range becomes enveloped in abstract colour and shape, only to discover that Van Sant’s fractured surfaces materialize at a distance into a coherent, legible personage — a smiling woman.”

The acclaimed filmmaker, painter, photographer, and musician’s first solo show was held in New York in 2019.

Main photo by Stefan Altenburger;Courtesy the artist and Vito Schnabel Gallery