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Parallèles par Paris Musées

Paris Museums Enlist Instagrammers to Recreate Classic French Artworks

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Parallèles par Paris Musées

Art is for everyonebut not everyone enjoys going to an art museum. That’s why Paris's municipal museums, Paris Musées, recently created a new web platform to make their vast assortment of paintings, sculptures, and photographs digitally accessible to the public. 

In honor of the site’s launch, Paris Musées brainstormed an art project of their own, called Parallels. They collaborated with 10 well-known Instagram personalities to recreate famous works from their collections using the popular social media platform. Their goal? To make the artworks a little more accessible, a little more modern, and—dare we say it—a little more fun for contemporary audiences. 

“Whether a photographer, fashion blogger, or a comedy YouTuber, each Instagrammer drew on material from his or her own experiences to express his or her affinity for the original work or simply to reinterpret it with a new twist,” the museum explained in a release.

The final result? A series of fresh, modern takes on paintings and photographs by artists including Charles Nègre, François Boucher, and Amedeo Modigliani. The Instagram photos, which went on display yesterday, will be exhibited in the city’s Gare Saint-Lazare rail station through July 31, 2016, and travelers can suggest their own remakes of works by posting them on the social platform with the #ParallelesParisMusées hashtag.

Not traveling to Paris anytime soon? You can view the works below. 

Ary Scheffer (1795-1858). Le Giaour. Huile sur toile, 1832. D'après "Le Giaour" de Lord Byron. Paris, musée de la Vie romantique. © Musée de la Vie Romantique / Roger-Viollet

François Boucher (1703-1770). Portrait présumé de Marie-Emilie Baudouin, fille du peintre. Huile sur toile, entre 1758 et 1760. Paris, musée Cognacq- Jay. © Musée Cognacq-Jay / Roger-Viollet

by @audrey.pirault © Quentin Caffier

Louis Antoine Léon Riesener (1808-1878). Théophile Gautier (1811-1871). Pastel, 1850. Paris, maison de Balzac. © Maison de Balzac / Roger- Viollet

Charles Nègre (1820 – 1880). Les ramoneurs en marche, Paris. Photographie, entre 1851 et 1852. Paris, musée Carnavalet. © Charles Nègre / Musée Carnavalet / Roger-Viollet

Georges Clairin (1843-1919). Portrait de Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923). Peinture à l’huile, 1876. Musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Petit Palais. © Petit Palais / Roger-Viollet

Marcel Bernard (1902 - 1991). Jean Moulin aux Arceaux près de la promenade du Peyrou à Montpellier. Photographie, Février 1940. © Legs. Antoinette Sasse, Musée du Général Leclerc/Musée Jean Moulin

Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). Femme aux yeux bleus. Huile sur toile, vers 1918. Paris, musée d'Art moderne. © Musée d'Art Moderne / RogerViollet

Animal monstrueux gardien de tombe 椆ऽْ. Bois. Paris, musée Cernuschi. © E. Emo et Cl.Tachdjian / Musée Cernuschi / Roger-Viollet

Antoine BOURDELLE (1861-1929). Isadora. Plume et encre de Chine, aquarelle sur papier vélin, 1909-1929. Paris, musée Bourdelle. © Musée Bourdelle / Roger-Viollet

Léon Bonnat (1833-1922). Portrait de Victor Hugo. Huile sur toile, 1879. Paris, Maison de Victor Hugo. © Maisons de Victor Hugo / Roger-Viollet

All images courtesy of Parallèles par Paris Musées

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Ape Meets Girl
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Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
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presidents
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.

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