Published: April 7, 2020
By Madelia Hickman Ring
UNITED STATES – The Getty Museum has issued a playful challenge on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to re-create a favorite work of art using objects lying around home.
The challenge was inspired by the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and a brilliant Instagram account called Between Art and Quarantine, but adapted with the invitation to use digitized and downloadable artworks from Getty’s online collection. In the last few days, the museum has seen countless creative interpretations of iconic artworks – both on the museum’s feed and across the web.
Viewers recreated Jeff Koons using a pile of socks, restaged Jacques-Louis David with a fleece blanket and duct tape and MacGyvered costumes out of towels, pillows, scarves, shower caps, coffee filters, bubble wrap and – of course -toilet paper and toilet rolls. Other popular works were Cezanne’s “Still Life with Apples” and Vermeer’s “Girl with a Pearl Earring.”
Want to make one yourself? Start with an image that inspires you. Most museums are making their collections accessible online; if you don’t see one that inspires you at the Getty, try searching other museums online. Google Arts & Culture features content from more than 2,000 museums and archives.
If you have the props you want but don’t know how to stage it, try doing a key-word search on Google Image.
Get creative. Involve your family members and pets; genre pictures are great sources of inspiration for scenes involving multiple figures. Make use of lighting and don’t be afraid to think abstractly. Got food lying around? It can become either the subject or the medium for your masterpiece.
If you use Twitter or Instagram, share your creation with the world there using the hashtags #betweenartandquarantine and #tussenkunstenquarataine. If you use Facebook, you can post it to your feed or send it to the museum directly: go to the Getty page and click “Send Message,” then tell them about it in words and attach the photos.
If you want to unite the two photos – the original and the recreation – into a single image, you can use photo-editing software like Photoshop or use a phone app like PicCollage (an example).
Below, a roundup of just a few of the thousands of ingenious and hilarious recreations of art from the Getty – and other world collections – that were shared this week.
Renaissance Lasagna Noodles
Christian Martinez’s 6-year-old daughter Bella has a love of nature that drew her immediately to this page from a Renaissance manuscript. Encountering the challenge over breakfast, the family let their imaginations run wild.
“Pasta being life for a 6-year-old, it was first selected, followed by the boiled eggs, which happened to be cooling off to the side,” Christian told us. Next came a brown paper bag as the canvas, and a basil stem from last night’s dinner. “It was truly wonderful to let art be the answer and escape in such a volatile environment,” he added.
Interior with Easel
This early Twentieth Century Scandinavian interior spoke to Tracy McKaskle “because we are all confined to home,” she said. “I really love the lighting in the painting and found the placement of the picture on top of the wall very unusual.”
For her recreation, she stood on a chair and carefully placed some pins to hold the little picture, moved her dining room furniture out of the way, then perfectly placed an easel with a blank canvas. Tracy added that the minimalist vibe of this one room doesn’t apply to the rest of the house. “I’m a collector – from the Salvation Army to estate sales to alleys and sidewalks. The interior painting is the complete opposite of me as I have no empty spaces in my house!”
The Harp And The Vacuum
Transforming into an ancient harp player with a vacuum cleaner “was the first thing that came to mind when I was looking at (the Getty) collection,” says Irena Irena Ochódzka, who posed herself into this amazing sculptural recreation. “It seemed like a good idea to combine a more seriously inspired harpist pose with something as mundane as a vacuum cleaner.”
Dad and Daughters
This Baroque masterpiece “was the first painting that stood out to me [in the Getty collections] and I thought we could do it pretty easily,” said Qie Zhang of this family project. Her two girls fought over the yellow dress, she told us, but you can’t tell from the delightful end result.
Her husband’s pose also made us laugh with its allusion to parental exhaustion.
Mantel Clock Meets Tea Time
In this recreation, an ornate timekeeper becomes personal tea time. “I chose the clock because it already was so over-the-top ornate and yet so intimate and familiar,” Sandro Alberti said.
“The shape reminded me of a porcelain glass or mug, and there was the reference to beverages on a tray.” The combo of clock and beverages took his mind to tea time, and from there to chocolate and porcelain.
“It just luckily happened that the multiple cookies also mark time (a cookie per second), and the only white porcelain mug I had happened to be a ‘design’ piece.”
Yawning Man With Dish Towel
Paul Morris has been going to the Getty Center since it opened, and he’s always loved this self-portrait of artist Joseph Ducreux yawning.
“I would keep a postcard of it near my bedside to inspire sleep. The red jacket I already had at hand; it was part of a British redcoat costume, but I’ve also used it to dress up as a pirate and most recently for the recreation of the Hamilton-Burr duel. My wife added the twisty towel for my head and the white dish towel for the cravat, and also took the photo.”
The Tiny Laundress
Elizabeth Ariza and her daughter have recreated Cézanne, Manet, Degas and this painting of a laundress by Greuze. She says, “my daughter and I are searching for paintings to recreate, and in this case, we really loved the composition. She loves to dress-up and act; she’s a natural actress.”
Laughing Fool With Giraffe Ears
Tiffanie Pierini Ho recreated this delightfully macabre Netherlandish portrait (from the Wellesley College collection) with task lighting in her home office.
“I knew I had a giraffe onesie with ears, and a Christmas sweater with cuffs, so those were my main costume,” she shared. The staff was the challenge: not wanting to go whole-hog with papier mache or clay, she tried balancing some toys on her shoulder, which “frustratingly kept falling off.” In the end, she told us, “I ended up drawing the head on a large post-it and sticking it to the wall, and just calling it a day.”
The Astronomer And The Tray Table
Ann Zumhagen-Krause got started on this picture-perfect reenactment of a Vermeer masterpiece at the Louvre by scrolling through a Google Image search for paintings of interiors, looking for ones she might have the right objects and lighting and setting to do. “I got my husband involved – he’s as much of an art enthusiast as I am,” she told us.
“We covered a tray table with a blanket, added our globe, found a chair with the same outline, and had fun with positioning. The light coming in the window was good, and we had a blast with it.”
For additional information, www.getty.edu.
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