Art to the Rescue
As museums close their doors in the wake of the pandemic, netizens across the world bring art into their living rooms.
A 1899 painting, titled Decadent Jove (Decadent Youth), created by Catalan artist Ramon Casas, has lately been making the rounds on the internet. There is a general consensus that the painting speaks more of the virus-hit, in-pandemic, self-isolated 2020 lifestyle, than it does of the intellectual/political societies of late 19th century Spain (the artist-intended expression). The painting features a woman dressed in black, lounged on a couch, with a seemingly uninteresting book.
Yes. When we put it like that, of course this is a post-corona era painting. But, the painting’s easily relatable subject is not the only reason for its new-found popularity. As writer Aparna Sanyal (@aparnasanyalwrites) so rightly pointed out, what makes it all the more appealing is the ease with which it can be replicated – not on canvas, but in 3D. All you need is a black dress, a couch, and a woman seeking to alleviate boredom through any means necessary.
Casas’ painting is not the only one to have received this treatment. For the last few weeks, the ‘Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine’ challenge (@tussenkunstenquarantaine) has been trending across the web. The challenge itself is quite simple – pick an art work, recreate it with three items in your home, and share a photo online. Extra points for creative use of pets! And so, thanks to the immense creative spirit of home-bound netizens everywhere, we’ve been witnessing some extraordinary attempts of bringing art alive. It might have begun as a promotional act of museum employees, trying to keep up morale and public interest in art. But the Getty Museum in Los Angeles (@GettyMuseum) or the National Gallery in London (@nationalgallery) could not have predicted the speed with which their initiatives quickly took over all of social media.
From people bending themselves to mimic René Magritte’s ‘not’ pipe; and carving potatoes and deseeding avocados to depict Munch’s Scream, to Zoom-enhanced Last Supper(s) and the many, many Dali and Kahlo interpretations, or to when the world finally found Mona Lisa’s doppelganger, art that is usually locked and bound to the walls of a museum have began invading living rooms, some to hilarious effect! Here’s a quick glimpse of some of the best ones: