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Girl with a pearl earring and an iPhone
November 9, 2013 7:16 AM   Subscribe

Combining famous historical paintings with images of 21st century technology, Art X Smart has transported them into another time.

"The addition of smartphones onto masterpieces by artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh and Manet forces one to re-examine them and question the influence of technology on modern society. The works are intended to be humorous parodies of the way smartphones have dramatically changed today’s social interaction. The models in the classical paintings use the devices to play games, take pictures and listen to music, as though the action was of second nature to them, like it is for us."
posted by Longtime Listener (49 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can't see this on my handset but I really hope they did Marat in his bath getting bad news on his BlackBerry.
posted by chavenet at 7:19 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can't see this on my handset

This is surely the most inadvertently appropriate, or unintentionally ironic (or something like that) comment one could make in this thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 AM on November 9, 2013 [10 favorites]


I'm not sure why I find this depressing. Something about how it shows our current use of technology has become so invasive, so intrusive, that it blinds us to the actual beauty of the unmediated world around us.

I mean, it's better to be immersed in your iPhone than in your absinthe glass, but seeing the folks on La Grande Jatte totally submerged in tech is a little poignant. It makes "The Scream" more topical, that's for sure.
posted by darkstar at 7:27 AM on November 9, 2013 [8 favorites]


In Caravaggio's The Incredulity of Saint Thomas, the touchscreen is actually inside Christ's thorax.
posted by aesop at 7:31 AM on November 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Well, with images of iPhones and iPads anyway. Kind of a one note joke rather than something more interesting.
posted by Naberius at 7:32 AM on November 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


Yeah, this could've been boiled down to the Skrik one and it would've been better. Adding awkward-angle iPads and iPhones to paintings doesn't really say much.
posted by graymouser at 7:53 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't think this was really very good. Ideally it would look like the insertions were painted by the original artist, but they don't.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:53 AM on November 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


I hate to be that guy, but people have been doing this gag for years, and most of the time they've been doing it much more competently.
posted by Grangousier at 7:54 AM on November 9, 2013 [18 favorites]


Regardless of whether or not it's executed competently, they still resonate because this is what the world really looks like now distilled through classic paintings. Every experience and every moment seems to be filtered through our smartphones etc. I'm definitely not pulling a Get Off My Lawn but man, I never realized a device could so sneakily take over my life.
posted by Kitteh at 8:04 AM on November 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I mean, it's better to be immersed in your iPhone than in your absinthe glass

I'm not at all sure about that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:08 AM on November 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have to admit that turning "Luncheon on the Grass" into a sext is LOL funny.
posted by localroger at 8:09 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


darkstar: "I mean, it's better to be immersed in your iPhone than in your absinthe glass, but seeing the folks on La Grande Jatte totally submerged in tech is a little poignant. It makes "The Scream" more topical, that's for sure."

Take that back. I would be immersed in absinthe right now, had I the money.
posted by Samizdata at 8:15 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And, yeah, the insertions were pretty poorly, well, inserted. Ruined the immersion for me.
posted by Samizdata at 8:17 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Related.
posted by sacrifix at 8:26 AM on November 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The scream was actually really funny.

Apart from that I think the gadgets ought to be painted in the appropriate specific style. Would be curious to see a cubistic rendering of an iPhone, for instance (round, I'd guess).
posted by Namlit at 8:37 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]



The addition of smartphones onto masterpieces by artists such as Cézanne, Van Gogh and Manet forces one to re-examine them and question the influence of technology on modern society.

No, no it doesn't.

A thin, tiny idea, with just the lightest dusting of thought, poorly executed.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 8:38 AM on November 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


Mona Lisa as a selfie. Instead of a cryptic smile she'd be doing duckface.
posted by mcstayinskool at 8:38 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Are these just Apple ads?
posted by MsVader at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Regardless of whether or not it's executed competently, they still resonate because this is what the world really looks like now distilled through classic paintings. Every experience and every moment seems to be filtered through our smartphones etc. I'm definitely not pulling a Get Off My Lawn but man, I never realized a device could so sneakily take over my life.

Smartphone technology is still so relatively new that we're just adjusting to the world with smartphones in it. There have been many times when technological advances have been derided as the decline of civilization as we know it, from the electric light to the telephone to video game consoles to, now, smartphones. And in 50 years, there'll be something else that will make us yearn for the mid-2010s, when we quaintly snapped photos of things in the real world and sent them to one another.
posted by xingcat at 8:52 AM on November 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


These are not nearly the quality of Masami Teraoka's early work. Look for his series on 31 flavors, or McDonalds.
posted by blob at 9:05 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was watching an old episode of Deep Space 9 that was made in like 1994, and there was a scene where Dax was walking across a room full of aliens while taking some readings on her tricorder. Dax looked like someone from the 21st century texting on her iPhone, while the aliens all stared at her in wonder. It was one of those moments where time has changed the meaning of a scene.
posted by vibrotronica at 9:08 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ironic that we should be bemoaning transformative communications technology on the internet.
posted by walrus at 10:04 AM on November 9, 2013


I don't think this was really very good. Ideally it would look like the insertions were painted by the original artist, but they don't.

The Van Gogh one looks like it was done in MS Paint.
posted by Segundus at 10:15 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


To be fair, most of Van Gogh looks like that.


*ducks*
posted by darkstar at 10:16 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


And this is where I once again quote national treasure Jennifer Lawrence. The other day, upon being introduced to a roomful of Facebook staffers all taking her picure, she deadpanned, "It's nice to meet yoir phones."

[Sent from my Android while I ignore the cat who wants to play.]
posted by NorthernLite at 10:18 AM on November 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


The bicycle in the Van Gogh viscerally offends me in a way that is both justified and ridiculous
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:20 AM on November 9, 2013


This was fucking terribly executed.

Something Awful did it much, much better, and without the awful goddamn artist's statement too. This one filled me with much happiness and joy.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:25 AM on November 9, 2013 [11 favorites]


I mean, in that Girl With The Pearl Earring one she's holding her iPhone in fucking REVERSE. You don't see the Apple logo while you're using the product—one of Apple's major design things over their competitors in the early 2000s was that you DON'T see their logos when you're using their product, you see the things you're interacting with and very little else. The whole "invisible interface" stuff.

If you're going to make a commentary on how we're lost in our technology, you have to avoid doing it so condescendingly awfully that you make it impossible for your point to resonate. That's my response to this, at least; there are interesting discussions to be had and art mashups to make that deal with this technology disconnect, but this one is seriously amateur hour.
posted by Rory Marinich at 10:28 AM on November 9, 2013


Selfie With a Pearl Earring
posted by Rock Steady at 10:43 AM on November 9, 2013 [7 favorites]


He's wasting his time waving it around, there's no way Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog is getting reception up there.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:44 AM on November 9, 2013


Rory, some of those SA ones are astonishingly well done. Merging the Great Wave off Kanagawa with Fukushima... that goes well past just being a joke.
posted by bonehead at 10:58 AM on November 9, 2013 [3 favorites]


But what about paintings from the 1530s which already include the Apple product, earbuds and everything?
posted by Wordshore at 11:23 AM on November 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


The Something Awful ones are definitely better. I was disappointed the girl with the pearl earring didn't just have the white earbuds on.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:27 AM on November 9, 2013


Meh.
posted by Paris Elk at 11:52 AM on November 9, 2013


Eh.
posted by New England Cultist at 12:05 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


H.
posted by Thing at 12:08 PM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Something Awful did it much, much better
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:12 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, with images of iPhones and iPads anyway. Kind of a one note joke rather than something more interesting.

That would be an iNote joke.
posted by srboisvert at 12:17 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


There have been many times when technological advances have been derided as the decline of civilization as we know it, from the electric light to the telephone to video game consoles to, now, smartphones

While this is true and I always agree with it, it doesn't mean that something hasn't also been truly lost.
posted by Miko at 12:29 PM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


That better be SnapChat that Mister Manet Dude in the Silly Hat is using.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 12:33 PM on November 9, 2013


So I come to a real computer a few hours later to find they did indeed do Marat in his bath, with iPad.

I still think a BlackBerry would be more apropos.
posted by chavenet at 12:57 PM on November 9, 2013


Rory Marinich: "This was fucking terribly executed.

Something Awful did it much, much better, and without the awful goddamn artist's statement too. This one filled me with much happiness and joy.
"

This one did it for me.
I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a Hieronymous Bosch in the same way again.
posted by chavenet at 12:59 PM on November 9, 2013


This is complete garbage.
posted by Teakettle at 1:36 PM on November 9, 2013


I liked the mirror/selfie thing and some of the other selfie-related ones, those amused me because I like the juxtaposition of objectification by an outsider/objectification of self that you get with those. The stylistic differences felt jarring, though.
posted by NoraReed at 2:50 PM on November 9, 2013


This is a better example. The strange juxtapositions are jarring, as they should be, but not because of different art styles.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:19 PM on November 9, 2013


In my fantasies a flock of graduate art students will descend upon this Korean illustrator/artist and generously provide a day long critique.

And yes, SA does it better.
posted by armisme at 9:29 PM on November 9, 2013


Modern Renaissance Superhero Designs: Altered Art
posted by stebulus at 2:41 PM on November 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe I have no taste but I really liked these. I was shocked by how natural all of these images looked to me. The point I took away is that things change, people don't.
posted by Salamandrous at 7:18 PM on November 10, 2013


stebulus: Modern Renaissance Superhero Designs: Altered Art

Amazing. Rembrandt's Joker literally made me gasp.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:06 AM on November 11, 2013


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