Art supposedly imitates life, so it stands to reason that every once in a while life should get a chance to turn the tables on art, right? Be it for the purposes of popular culture, contemporary grime music or for omnipresent social media memes. Sorry, did we just say culture, while simultaneously imagining Vin Diesel digitally image edited into the Mona Lisa?
OK, we did. Guilty as charged.
I guess it’s not quite as embarassing as thinking about Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster riding Katsushika Hokusai’s seminal ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ Japanese woodblock art masterpiece though, is it.
Which is also ‘a thing’.
So you already see where we’re going with this, don’t you?
That being the (socially awkward) ‘celebration’ of a somewhat eclectic collection of the world’s iconic artworks which have been recurrently subjected to parody. And examples which we all instantly recognise.
Irrespective of whether the Mona Lisa is looking all fast and furious. Or if a baked biscuit-obsessed, wobbly-eyed, blue glove puppet is surfing a monster wave. There’s no use hiding from the existence of such things, as clearly the digitally image edited sector has played a key part in these frivolous pictorial responses to questions. Questions which really ought never to have been asked.
On which note. Just who would ever ask something along the lines of; “Just what would Donald Trump look like with a man bun?”
Yup. Don’t adjust you screen, as this has JUST happened (in social media land) and can never be unseen. Courtesy of one digital photo retouching masochist out there.
Photo Retouched Works of Famous Art Which are More Than a Little Amusing
Naturally (or should that be, unnaturally) for life to imitate art, digitally image edited witchcraft nearly always ensues. And obviously figures prominently in the resultant photo enhanced finished articles we see before us.
Because without professional photographers and/or digital photo retouching experts being behind them, most of these extra-curricular visions (some of which are vaguely disturbing – hello Miss Piggy, we’re looking at you!) would never have seen the light of day. And remained out of harm’s way. Existing purely within the mind’s eye of those with fevered imaginations.
Or image editing artists in the desperate throes of answering their own client briefs. The conclusions of which leaked into the public’s conscience and therefore pitched up on our radar.
We haven’t even waxed lyrical about The Muppet’s take on Boticelli’s ‘The Birth of Venus’ yet, have we? The version which depicts the aforementionedMiss Piggy stood in the middle of a clam shell looking all coquettish? Nope. It’s not too late to bail/stop reading about here, you know.
We won’t take it personally….
C’mom. Who Doesn’t Find a Digitally Image Edited Version of Marge Simpson with a Pearl Earing Vaguely Amusing??
Still, if all this image ‘enhancing’ cock and bull is good enough for the Royal Academy of Art (no less) to bring to the world’s attentions, then it definately gets the nod from DT. After all, those guys are an authority on all things arty. The actual embodiment of pretty much everything culturally significant. As well as being originally responsible for compiling this compendium, believe it or not.
Now, purists amongst you might argue that these lighthearted and whimsically/digitally image edited variations on seminal artistic themes are borderline blasphemous/offensive/insert your own ‘Angry from Manchester writes to complain’ letter HERE. While others might even pedantically debate the legitimacy of this ensemble being referred to as actual photo retouchings as such. Due to some of them appearing to having been afforded the old oil or watercolour treatment. But rest assured, they’ll have been digitally image edited to achieve these much-shared presentation values; trust us on this.
We know our swag.
Anyway, that’s all academic. Because what all 7 of these alt images are, is amusing. And distracting, during times which otherwise challenge/frustrate us (please see Trump’s hair above).
And there’s absolutely no harm in that. Plus, just HOW can the Cookie Monster EVER be considered anything if not entertaining? OK. And slightly irritating. And cookie obsessed. But let’s overlook that for the sake of this blog. And clickbait. Etc.
The Top 7 (in no semblence of order)
Da VINci’s, ‘The Mona Lisa’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Vincent Diesel
We know not where nor whence it came kicking and screaming into this (virtual) world, or indeed; just which online photo manipulation person(s) was responsible for this Da VINci twist. Only that it cohabits are virtual spheres. Spinning out tee-shirts and various other merch since its almost immaculate conception. And which perpetuates the stock value of Leonardo’s masterpiece among the high command of duplicated – and sympathetically photo retouched – famous compositional pieces.
Katsushika Hokusai’s ‘The Great Wave off Kanagawa’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Cookie Monster
According to the font of all social media knowledge that is Twitter, Sonny Malhotra was the photographer (and director of music videos and short films) who gave rise to ‘Sea is for Cookie’ back in 2013. And we love him dearly for it. Inspired by Japanese woodblock artist, Hokusai’s seminal view of Mount Fuji, Japan’s tallest mountain. Yet distantly depicted in this image and notably eclipsed by the towering presence of a colossal Cookie Monster wave.
Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Miss Piggy
Illustrated by The Muppet’s long-standing photographer, John E Barrett (and lifted from the hardback book temptingly entitled, ‘Miss Piggy’s Treasury of Art Masterpieces from the Kermitage Collection’), this much sought after, Pre-Raphaelite-inspired print is certainly an eyeful for fans of both Botticelli’s and, er, Jim Henson’s creations. And adds to the tally of parodies which ensure the original artist’s defining art makes this definitive list.
Da Vinci’s ‘The Last Supper’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Stormzy
This digitally image edited album cover was captured and styled by photographer, John Ross, and appears on leading UK grime artist, Stormzy’s 2017 ‘Gang Signs and Prayer’ LP. Do the kids still call them LP’s?? Controversial, perhaps, what the creative team behind this photo retouched album artwork did was recreate one of the most revered biblical scenes. In a gangsta styley. Complete with balaclavas replacing bread. Having been parodied to within an inch of its natural over the years since Da main man, Vinci first painted it, this intensely moody and atmospherically-lit interpretation is wholly different than what’s gone before.
Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Tardis/Dr Who
Various digitally image edited sources can lay claim to first hallucinating this out-of-this-world concept. As you can discover for yourself simply by Googling ‘Van Gogh, ‘Starry Night’ – Tardis’. So the jury is still out on who the originator was, suffice to say a LOT of people have rolled with it since. All influenced by a particularly awesome episode of Dr Who which featured Vinnie himself, from the days when Matt Smith was (peerlessly) portraying the eponymous Time Lord. And that’s just ONE contemporary example of Van Gogh’s most famous composition being parodied left, right and centre.
Salvador Dali’s ‘The Persistence of Memory’ (or ‘Melting Clocks’ to the rest of us) – Photo retouched in the medium of Fat Cats
Another instantly recognizable work of illustrative genius, this time from the past master of all things surreal and moustachioed, Dali. Only on this occasion the relentlessly parodied original offering has been sabotaged by chubby moggies hell-bent on lazing around. Courtesy of digital artist, Svetlana Petrova and her cat, Zarathustra. Who’s also inspired a number of other fine art parodies, for the record.
Andy Warhol’s ‘Marilyn Monroe, 1967’ – Photo retouched in the medium of Boris Johnson
Pop Art pioneer and all-round creative svengali, Warhol famously declared that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, if you recall. For current UK PM, Boris Johnson, that 1968 prophecy is lasting a little longer than for most, it would seem. But politics aside, here he is as bold as brass in an amusing pastiche of Warhol’s ubiquitous work of art. Or rather, as digitally image edited/retold by British designer, Dm2 back in 2016. Designed in Photoshop for the project ‘Modern Renaissance 20’.
How very Rule Britannia. And just one example of why ‘Marilyn’ continues to be much parodied far and wide.