Ryan and Trevor Oakes, 26-year-old American twin brothers, are conducting experiments in perspective drawing, fittingly in Florence, on Brunelleschi and Alberti's stomping grounds. From June 22 through 30, they were in residence in the courtyard at Palazzo Strozzi, just a stone's throw from the church of Santa Maria Novella, inside of which Masaccio's Trinity has amazed viewers with its realistic rendering of depth since the first decades of the fifteenth century. In the Choistro Verde next door, Paolo Uccello depicted his painstakingly perspectival Deluge. Invited to Florence to participate in New York University's conference on Art and Beauty held June 18, the Oakes brothers' stay was extended by the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, whose building represents the perfect blend of Renaissance and contemporary to host this project.
In the Strozzi courtyard, visitors observed the brothers at work and even served as models for their project. There they saw a modified easel supporting a spherical grid upon which the brothers placed paper, cut specifically for this purpose. A few inches from the paper, a gesso cap held the artist's head-and in particular his left eye-at the center of the spherical drawing grid so that the paper plane was wrapped around that point, always equidistant from it.