Some of these elegant art recreations are a woman with a toilet paper around her neck, as well as a man with lettuce placed on his head, lying on the sheet while bare-chested and holding a glass of wine. There is also an image of a child who has a small lilac angel wings posing at the top of a pile of toilet paper. Her parents and siblings looking at her in the background.
Creativity amidst isolation
During these times when museums have no choice but to temporarily shut down their operations, and galleries and art education decided to move online, images created by the public have become the representation of creativity amidst isolation. Thousands of painting recreations have been posted on Instagram, a social media platform, under the hashtags #betweenartandquarantine, #metwining, as well as #gettymuseumchallenge. Some of these recreations were made by arts professionals. Still, a lot of them were made by skilled amateurs who are looking for something to ease their boredom now that everyone is isolated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anneloes Officier, an Amsterdam-based woman along with her roommates, are the ones who initiated this spontaneous wave of art recreation, which is now called #artchallenge when they imitated the Veemer’s Girl with a Pearl paint. For more than a month now, she has been collecting entries for the challenge and posting them on the Instagram page called @tussenkunstenquarantine. The account’s name was got from Tussen Kunst en Kitsch, a Dutch television program whose title translates to between art and kitsch.
Instagram Followers Always Love A Good Artist
According to Officier, more than 24,000 art recreation photos have come in through their hashtags. The 31-year-old woman also added that staff members from different famous museums such as the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Rijkmuseum. She knows how art is a great way to get more followers, just look at her account! The Getty and Hermitage have already taken part in the challenge. Sometimes, the creators of the problem impose their own rules and regulations, like having a limited number of props that they can use and limiting the time they can use to create a replica.
The now popular recreation challenge recall the artwork of Nina Katchadourian, a famous fine artist who created the series called Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style. The said art series was shot entirely inside airplane bathrooms. Besides, they were also a part of a larger body of artwork called Seat Assignment, in which Katchadourian creates art during commercial flights.
00Katchadourian said she was trying to create arts under circumstances where creating art does not seem possible and added that what she does is unrelated to what people are doing now. The artist noted that she is delighted and charmed by the fact that other people are now taking to the form.
The challenge participants
According to Francesco De Grazia, almost all of the artistic events and concerts that he has been looking forward to watching have been canceled. This left him with a lot of spare time on the palm of his hands, allowing him to dress up like a Caravaggio painting. He also said that the only thing left for people to do is to use the tools offered by the web while waiting for the pandemic, which he called it a nightmare to pass and hoped he could make someone laugh with his art recreation.
Crystal Felip, an urban planner, based in Wellington, New Zealand, is not a big fan of social media. However, the 36-year-old urban planner decided to join the challenge after being encouraged by her mother. According to Felip, she is a fan of real, tactile nature and has been spending most of her time in front of the computer screen to attend virtual meetings and check emails and spreadsheets. The challenge, which also serves as a creative exercise, helped her lighten things up and put them in perspective.
According to dozens of individuals who participated in the challenge, including a social worker based in Azerbaijan and a Japanese actor who is living in London, there is a sense of lightness that pretending to be someone else for a moment offers. They also said that part of the reason why they joined the challenge was their love for museums. There are a lot of art lovers who miss the quiet yet social act of looking at art with other people. For now, these people will have to make do with gallery tours done virtually as well as riffs on famous paintings posted on Instagram.
The embodiments of artworks that are happening now have a historical precedent. Back then, people were donning makeups while holding props and rigidly posing up to an entire minute as a part of tableau vivant, a widespread dramatic practice which is also known as the living pictures. The evidence of these phenomenon dates back to the 1700s, where tableau vivant served as an entertainment and instruction.
A group of Italian comedic actor in 1760 recreated the painting of Jean-Baptize Greuze called The Village Betrothal in Les Noces d’Arlequin. The recreation was a part of a more towering theatrical performance. In 1781, the children at the Royal Palace of Versailles participated in a series of tableaux vivants inspired by Jacques-Louis David and Eugene Isabey’s paintings. Thie hobby then became famous in the 1800s and reach its most popular time during the 20th century.
True enough, the proliferated use of photography and the widespread availability of cinema made tableau vivant less engaging than before. The practice which has been running for a long time now was never really faded from the people’s site. In fact, the residents of Laguna Beach, California, dress up every year for the event called Master of the Pageant that has been referenced in popular culture.
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