A Collection of Classic Portraits Mashed Up With Contemporary Style


It’s a pretty well established fact that artists steal from each other — and it’s even more common for artists to take stylistic and technical cues from their predecessors, those established masters whose work still sets the standard for excellence today. But recently we’ve been noticing several artists adopting a more direct, decidedly more irreverent way of incorporating the lessons of classical portraiture — by mashing up contemporary and classic images and styles, dropping modern items into 18th century paintings, and otherwise augmenting and re-imagining the greats. Click through to check out our mini collection of classic/contemporary mash up portraiture and painting, and feel free to add to our collection in the comments.

Girl with a Pearl Earring updated by Dorothee Golz

From the series The Secret History of Kiss by Ron English

A recreation of George de la Tour’s Magdalen and the Flame, from Christian Louboutin’s Fall 2011 lookbook

Supper at Emmaus, by Mason Storm, an adaptation of the 1601 Caravaggio masterpiece

From a series by Jean-Luc Moerman, wherein he draws complex, full-body tattoos on classic paintings

Marcel Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, remixed by John Mattos to feature C3PO descending a staircase

Alan Macdonald drops modern items into Renaissance-style portraits

From the series Adam by Norm Yip, a religious classic projected onto a model

Francesco Vezzoli‘s Crying Portrait of Tatjana Patitz as a Renaissance Madonna with Holy Child (after Faffaello) and Crying Portrtait of Cindy Crawford as a Renaissance Madonna with Holy Child (after Andrea Mantegna), respectively.

One of Chad Wys’s phenomenal deconstructed portraits.

Ellison Fonteles’s update of Eugene de Blaas’s Flirtation at the Well, as part of the Worth 100 Photo Effects contest

From artist Nina Katchadourian’s photo series Lavatory Self-Portraits in the Flemish Style, where she takes photos of herself in airplane bathrooms using the materials available to her to recreate classic Flemish portraits

Wonder Woman as classic beauty, as part of the Worth 100 Photo Effects contest.

Part of an ongoing portrait series replacing the faces of Russian generals captured by George Dawe in the early 1800s with celebrities and friends

Rembrandt’s Danae, improved by Great Artists’ Mews