VOOM's Gallery HD Premieres VOOM Portraits by Robert Wilson

Video Portrait Collection by Theatre Icon Robert Wilson Maximizes the Medium of HD

World Tour Kicks off With Month-Long Exhibition at New York's PHILLIPS DE PURY and PAULA COOPER Galleries

New York, NY – January 16, 2007 – VOOM's GALLERY HD, the only high-definition channel devoted to the visual arts, announced today the exhibition of the VOOM PORTRAITS BY ROBERT WILSON, an artistic venture of over 30 high-definition video portraits, created by the celebrated theater icon and visual artist Robert Wilson. The VOOM Portraits will be on exhibition beginning on January 17, 2007, at the Phillips de Pury and Paula Cooper galleries in New York, kicking-off a world tour that will bring the collected works to leading museums, film festivals and public art spaces, both here and abroad. The portraits demonstrate Gallery HD's capabilities of high definition television, capitalizing on the richness of this technology.

THE VOOM PORTRAITS BY ROBERT WILSON were fully commissioned and produced via an on-going collaboration between VOOM and Wilson since 2004. The PORTRAITS illustrate the aesthetic and technical brilliance of the newest generation of television and feature celebrity subjects including Brad Pitt, Winona Ryder and Robin Wright Penn. In October 2007, Gallery HD will debut the works as well as a behind the scenes, making of, documentary. The Brad Pitt photo was featured on the cover of the December 2006 Vanity Fair, the magazine's first-ever issue devoted to art. VOOM HD Networks are the largest and most diverse suite of HD channels available nationwide and currently on Dish Network.

"Our mission is to transform the television experience, to join passion, creativity and mastery of craft with HD technology," said Greg Moyer, General Manager, VOOM HD Networks. "With THE VOOM PORTRAITS, we've worked to provide Wilson with the tools and technical assistance needed to reinvent the world of television, as he has done prior with theater and performance. By bringing his dynamic and star-powered works directly to the people through galleries, museums, public spaces and, ultimately, our network, we'll open the eyes of the critical tastemakers and general consumers alike, to the profound and immersive power of the emerging HDTV experience."

The portfolio of VOOM PORTRAITS that Wilson has created both reflect back to, and broadly extend the tradition of formal art portraiture, through 21st century technology. For these works, which also include original soundtracks in 5.1 Dolby® digital surround sound, Wilson selected a range of subjects including celebrated actors, writers, artists, dancers and royalty. Other subjects of the 36 VOOM Portraits produced to date include Monaco's Princess Caroline of Hanover, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Robin Wright Penn, Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Isabella Rossellini, Jeanne Moreau, Steve Buscemi, Alan Cumming and Willem Dafoe. Some of the most captivating selections may be Wilson's animal portraits, including a dinner plate-sized South American horned frog, a Briard dog, a snow owl, a black panther and a porcupine. VOOM HD Networks and Wilson are continuing their efforts to produce new HD portraits.

Wilson works closely with his human subjects to develop costumes and settings that hark back to past works of art, history or popular culture. Examples include: HRH Princess Caroline, who strikes a starkly elegant pose reminiscent both of her mother, Grace Kelly, in the film "Rear Window;" John Singer Sargent's portrait of Madame X; Winona Ryder as the main character, "Winnie," in Samuel Beckett's play "Happy Days;" and dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov posed as St. Sebastian pierced by arrows. By contrast, Actress Isabella Rossellini is an animé character and Willem Dafoe appears in a humorous take on horror movies. During the shoot, Wilson directs his subjects to "think of nothing" and limits their movements to one or two gestures in very slow motion.

The video portraits run from 30 seconds to 20 minutes in length, and are shot in both horizontal for television and cinema display, and vertical for gallery presentation on HD flat screen monitors. The final products are looped so there is no discernable beginning or ending, creating a framed work of art, in life size to its subject. At first glance, the resulting images appear to be still photographs; but on closer inspection, they reveal Wilson's highly developed language of minimal movement, rendered even finer with the clarity of HD video. These highly produced portraits draw upon Wilson's diverse interests and expertise: theater, fashion, design, architecture and performance, and once again, display his unparalleled ability to manipulate our way of seeing.

The selling exhibitions at New York's Phillips de Pury (450 W 15th St, 3rd Floor) and Paula Cooper (534 W 21st St) galleries will be on public view from January 17 – February 15, 2007. The Phillips de Pury exhibition will include 32 of the works, including portraits of Brad Pitt, Isabelle Huppert, Isabella Rossellini, Steve Buscemi and Alan Cumming. Paula Cooper Gallery will exhibit four portraits, including Winona Ryder and Wilson's Snow Owl series.

THE VOOM PORTRAITS were created under the auspices of Ali Hossaini, serving as the project catalyst, by first approaching Wilson to collaborate on a series of works for exhibition on both VOOM HD Networks and in free-standing form at galleries. Ali Hossaini serves as Executive Producer for THE VOOM PORTRAITS.

About VOOM HD Networks
The VOOM HD Networks are the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere. Produced exclusively in true high definition and 5.1 Dolby® digital surround sound for distribution on cable and satellite systems, VOOM creates and carries programming in categories as diverse as sports, movies, fashion, music and art. In the United States, the VOOM HD Networks are a critically acclaimed collection of 15 commercial-free channels, available nationally on Echostar's DISH Network. VOOM is also becoming an international leader in high definition, with dedicated channels recently launched in Scandinavia and Canada, and programming available in over 20 different countries. Developed by Rainbow Media to meet the growing demand for quality high- definition programming, the VOOM HD Networks build on Rainbow Media's history of original programming innovation.

About Rainbow Media Holdings LLC
Rainbow Media Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE: CVC). Rainbow Media owns some of the country's most compelling and dynamic entertainment brands including popular national and regional television channels AMC, fuse, The Independent Film Channel (IFC), WE tv, and two FSN affiliated regional sports networks managed by Rainbow Sports Networks. The company also owns Mag Rack and sportskool, two original on-demand networks; VOOM HD Networks, the largest and most diverse suite of high definition channels available anywhere; IFC Entertainment, its film distribution, production and exhibition division; Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation, its advertising sales division; and Rainbow Network Communications, its full service network programming origination and distribution company.

About Robert Wilson
The New York Times has described Robert Wilson as a "towering figure in the world of experimental theater and an explorer in the uses of time and space onstage. Transcending theatrical convention, he draws in other performance and graphic arts, which coalesce into an integrated tapestry of images and sounds." Wilson's name is perhaps most closely associated with his works for theater and opera, including the convention-breaking masterpiece "Einstein on the Beach," the landmark work "Black Rider," and reinterpretations of major repertoire pieces such as "King Lear" and Wagner's "Ring Cycle." But his practice blends disciplines and his vision is firmly rooted in the fine arts. Wilson's drawings, furniture designs, video work and installations have been exhibited and collected in museums and galleries internationally. Extensive retrospectives have been presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He has mounted installations in almost all important museums internationally including the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, London's Clink Street Vaults, and the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao.

Press Contacts

  • Lisa Rogen
    VOOM HD Networks
    (917) 542 6216