The Oakes Brothers in the Central Garden at the Getty Center, 2011

In 2011 artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes spent three weeks meticulously rendering the Getty Center in line. Stationed by the bougainvillea trellises in the Central Garden, the brothers traded off pencils, pens, and custom-built headgear to capture a panorama of the garden and the pavilions of the Museum.

Line by careful line, the Getty came into view on a sculptural sheet of curved paper, mounted on a special stand rigged at eye height. The resulting meticulous drawing appears distorted when viewed from afar, but in perfect perspective when seen close up, head in.

Concave drawing of the Getty gardens by Ryan and Trevor Oakes

Concave drawing of the Getty gardens by Ryan and Trevor Oakes. Image © Oakes Oakes 2012

Now the artists are back for more. This time they’ll be facing northwest toward the semicircular building of the Getty Research Institute, which houses the Getty’s art library and archives. The finished drawing will become part of the Research Institute’s special collections, which contain almost a million rare books, prints, photographs, artist’s books, and other unique items.

You can watch the brothers at work from November 8 to January 21, every day except Mondays, from 10:30am to 4pm. One brother sketches at a time, leaving the other free to chat with visitors and answer questions. (If you stop by and they aren’t there, try back in a few—they’ll be taking occasional stretch and food breaks throughout the day.)

This event is the latest audience engagement project created by contemporary artists in partnership with the Getty Museum’s Education Department. Other recent happenings include James-Ensor-inspired interactive print event with Mobile Arts Project and the medieval-contemporary hybrid The Chivalry Project with Becca Lofchie. Coming next is Barbara Kruger’s “Whose Values?,” which arrives in spring 2015.