Before the invention of photography, portraits were rendered using oil paint and were reserved for those wealthy and powerful enough to afford the artist commission. Nowadays, anyone can take an instant photo of themselves on their smartphones. It’s so common, in fact, that the act of doing so has been given its own well known term—the selfie. Bologna, Italy-based digital artist Dito Von Tease explores the concept of the self-portrait by reimagining subjects from classic portrait paintings as if they’re taking a selfie.
Titled Classicool, the ironic series depicts iconic artist subjects such as Lisa Gherardini (Mona Lisa), Frida Kahlo, and “the girl” from Girl with the Pearl Earring posed in flattering angles with “selfie arms” that extend beyond the frame. “In Classicool the subjects of the paintings abandon their classical pose by literally taking the canvas to ‘paint themselves,’ ” explains Von Tease. “[They] are not just memes shared on social networks, but finished and detailed artworks, like real paintings go the past, showing subjects in authentic and modern selfie poses.”
It is unclear exactly how Von Tease digitally renders his clever images; however, each one looks incredibly realistic. It’s amusing to imagine these famous painterly subjects as modern-day Instagrammers—they’re definitely worth a “like.”