The collision of art history and pop culture comes alive in the digital collage of Shusaku Takaoka. As a graphic designer, the Japanese creative uses his keen photo manipulation skills to take some of the world’s most iconic paintings and fuse them with the gritty urban environment. Using famous faces like Mona Lisa, Van Gogh, and Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, Takaoka merges them onto bodies sporting the latest fashions. The playful project gives a whole new meaning to these painted characters, who now look incredibly modern.
Takaoka takes some creative liberties when it comes to his pop culture mashups. He doesn’t shy away from lengthening their hair, adding stylish hats, or even placing a cigarette to their lips. In doing this, Takaoka imagines a whole new life for these people—they transcend their paintings and become the type of hip folks you’d easily find walking down the street or sitting on the subway.