Referencing fine art

When I was in New Orleans recently I came across a wordless sticker in the street that referenced the iconic 17th Century painting by Vermeer The girl with the Pearl Earring.  In the last few years the original image has entered popular culture after Tracy Chevalier’s 1999 novel about the painting was adapted into a film in 2003 with Scarlett Johansson. I like the fact the source is recognisable even though the face is obliterated:


Here are some other images I’ve taken that reference fine art painting in contemporary fashion:

This woman’s leggings depict The Wave by 19th Century Japanese artist Hokusai


This hand painted man’s tie, seen last month in Soho, references and plays around with Matisse’s Blue Nude cut out:


And this cut-out leotard at Primark displays an 18th century portrait. I’m not sure what it is – possibly Gainsborough or Boucher, but the rococo softness together with the severe, athletic diagonals of the cut out struck me as an unusual combination. I also like the way we view the mass produced garment in multiples as opposed the singularity of the original painting.


Finally here’s a  picture I took at The Women’s Pond in Highgate this summer of my beach towel and hand-written journal. For me this image functions as a kind of extended self-portrait, capturing the moment and mystery of my diary entry! The image on the towel is Gitana Tropical Cuban artist Victor Manuel, 1928.




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