You might think visual artists have it easy — hanging out with models and making pretty pictures — but after a long day of churning out portraits (at the Factory, perhaps) or patiently mixing colors, every serious artist needs to cut loose and let his silly side shine. After all, writers can’t have all the fun, can they? In fact, from what we can tell, artists come up with some of the strangest and funniest ways to play, and we’ve collected a few snaps of their most ridiculous escapades, both candid and posed, here. Click through to check out our gallery of very silly photos of very serious (or at least seriously acclaimed) visual artists, and when you’re through, you just might consider putting aside your work for the afternoon and going out to play.
A pantless Paul Gauguin playing Alphonse Mucha’s harmonium in his Paris studio, 1895. Photo courtesy of the Mucha Foundation.
Alexander Calder roaring with his lion friend, 1971. Photo via.
Though insane photos of Andy Warhol abound, we like him playing the Robin to Nico’s Batman, from a 1967 photo shoot for Esquire. Photo via.
Madame and Monsieur Monet, going to the birds. Photo via.
René Magritte being surreal, photographed by Duane Michals. Photo via.
Pablo Picasso with Gary Cooper’s gun and hat, photographed by André Villers in 1959. Photo via.
Stills of Marcel Duchamp by Man Ray, 1924. Photo via.
Jean-Marie Périer’s photo of Salvador Dali and Françoise Hardy in Cadaqués, 1968. Photo via.
Lucian Freud dressed to match his zebra head, circa 1943. Courtesy Tate Modern. Photo via.
Karl Lagerfeld looking like an extremely chic gangster, 1974. Photo via.
Giorgio de Chirico photographed by Irving Penn, 1944. Photo via.
Yves Klein looking mighty skeptical in those eyebrows. Photo via.
Annie Leibovitz’s portrait of Keith Haring, 1986. Photo via.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec relieving himself on the beach in 1898, photographed by Maurice Joyant. Photo via.
Bonus: Warhol and Dali in some highly entertaining costumes. Photo via.