Thursday, February 14, 2013

Real life depictions of famous works of art...

...maybe don't cut it? An article in The Atlantic highlighted some of their favorite ones:

"Fashion month is in full swing, and to capitalize on the runway spectacles that are happening in New York, London, Milan, and Paris, many museums—from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania—are opening exhibitions related to la mode.
Art and fashion have had a long relationship, with major glossies inviting artists from Salvador Dalí to Barbara Kruger to direct or shoot their editorial content. But by far the most fun art-fashion fusions are the dozens of photo shoots replicating famous paintings by the likes of Klimt, Vermeer, and Lichtenstein. Below are 11 hilarious, odd, and sometimes even magical examples of fashion editorials inspired by art."

Devon Aoki as Hans Memling’s Virgin and Child (1475)
The Face, 1997
Photo by Michael Sanders
Grungy youth-culture mag The Face, which launched the career of a skinny teen named Kate Moss in the ‘90s, paid homage to Renaissance painting with a dash of irony. In Michael Sander’s recreation of Hans Memling’s Virgin and Child, the beautiful Devon Aoki holds a creepy plastic doll in place of the baby Jesus.

This was one of my least favorites. Aside from there being a baby in the recreation and the woman holding the baby in a similar position there's nothing else that's really the same and there's just nothing about this that I enjoy. I mean I get that the photographer was trying to be ironic but I really think he just did the piece a disservice. And it's not because I dislike Devon Aoki. (I mean have you seen 2 Fast 2 Furious???)

Models as Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1907-1908)
Harper’s Bazaar, February 2002
Photo by Patrick Demarchelier
Gustav Klimt’s portraits of society women and bohemians all feature some pretty fantastic clothing; the painter himself was a “dress reformer” and had a long (sometimes romantic) relationship with (anti-)fashion designer Emily Floge. So it seems appropriate that Patrick Demarchelier would recreate his most famous painting, The Kiss, in a 2002 art-inspired editorial for Harper’s Bazaar that also featured interpretations of Picasso’sLes demoiselles d’Avignon, Andy Warhol’s portrait of Liz Taylor, and more.

I was initially torn about how I felt about this one. On the one hand, Klimt is almost impossible to recreate identically but I don't think a truly identical reproduction was the intent of any of these pieces. On the otherhand, I think the photographer did a really great job of using the fact that he couldn't match the fabric of their clothing exactly and taking the opportunity to put his own twist on the reproduction. When I first saw this it was one of my least favorites but the more I sat and looked at it, the more I began to realize that using the things you CAN'T match exactly are where you take the opportunities to put your own touch on a piece like this.

Model as Edward Hopper’s The Automat (1927)
The New York Times, 2006
Photo by Joel-Peter Witkin
Joel-Peter Witkin’s richly packed tableaux often reimagine old masterworks, such as Velázquez’s Las Meninas or Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, but with the photographer’s signature morbidity. (Some typical motifs: corpses, skeletons, dwarves, invalids.) Witkin took a much lighter approach for “The History of Hats in Art,” a whimsical editorial for The New York Times using headgear from Prada, Ralph Lauren, and Alexander McQueen to recreate paintings by Manet, Picasso, and Edward Hopper.

No comment on this one. I love it. It is perfect. That is all.

Which ones were your favorites?


Earl Grey said...

Appropriation is an interesting way to connect past and present as well as art and non. Great, great post. Thanks for sharing!

K-lev said...

I agree with that. But I think my problem with the first picture I posted was that it doesn't seem like it was a real effort. It just seems like someone stumbled across that picture on the internet and thought "Oh this is kind of similar and reminds me of this other really great piece I saw one time. I'm going to claim that I set it up this way on purpose and then make the claim that I'm being ironic and 'artsy'." I really don't like that particular effort. Clearly.