Ken Aptekar uses the history of art, primarily classical painting, as his lexicon to bring the past into the present, activating painting to create a dialogue with contemporary viewers. To this end, Aptekar appropriates images from existing works, then transforms the composition, color, and scale, often radically. He links these new interpretations to the original historical sources to express their relevance today. Associations to the images are inscribed boldly floating over the surface of the historic source painting, a form of concrete poetry, inviting the viewer to consider what they are looking at in the context of today’s more familiar world. Sometimes humorous, always dissonant, the effect is powerful, and often reverberates in viewers’ experiences contemplating other historical works.