When Life Imitates Art
Getty wasn’t the first place that’s promoting this kind of imaginative and creative challenge on social media. Still, their challenge became so popular that it’s now known as the “Getty Museum Challenge.” One of the forerunners for this idea was a Dutch Instagram account called ‘Tussen Kunst & Quarantaine,’ which means “between art and quarantine.”
The rules of the Getty challenge are relatively simple: you choose your favorite work of art, then you try to recreate the work of art with things you have lying around at home.
Thousands of Submissions
According to Getty’s assistant director for digital content strategy, Annelisa Stephan, they’ve “lost count” of all the photos that people have submitted and says that there are “as many as in the thousands.”
“In addition to the ones shared publicly, there have been hundreds more that were sent directly to our private inbox! We didn’t expect such a response in our craziest dreams—we thought a only few people might participate, but it sure struck a chord!” Annelisa said.
Creativity Around the World
With many people being so creative, others have been so supportive of other people’s creations, celebrating their favorites and cheering them on. They’ve received creative responses from all over, starting from the US, Canada, Europe, even Asia, and Australia.
There have even been kids of all ages getting into it, with teachers planning their art history students to work the challenge into their curriculum. It’s a great way to look at and learn about art while being creative within our set limitations.
The Getty’s social media manager, Sarah Waldorf, said in an interview, “Our followers told us that they wanted to see beautiful art while learning more about art from home, and hopefully find joy on social media,” Waldorf said.
“We wanted to give a creative challenge to find some escape from the uncertain state of the world and to spark excitement while getting creative—no extra materials needed.”
This is one for the books, not only does it feature dogs, but they’re playing poker! The original masterpiece may have been kitschified into t-shirts and magnets, but what makes it so special is how it humanizes dogs.
This gentler sense of humor, with the inherent tension between what we see and what remains unseen, it definitely makes for an entertaining painting.
Getty has hand-picked some of the most bracing recreations. The famous American Gothic was painted by the artist Grant Wood, and he used his experiences of the Midwest to produce this depiction of modest rural life.
Looking back at these renditions of famous classics, we can take a tour of these classics artworks while taking a glimpse at the re-creations that have been made in tribute.
This type of recreations makes us ponder, and isn’t that precisely what art is supposed to make us do? Some might say that the purpose of art is to lend inspiration and consolation concerning the challenges of being human.
How fitting that this challenge went viral in 2020, maybe you have an artwork in mind that you would like to recreate?
There are countless versions of the Madonna and Child, but none like this participant’s quarantine version. What makes this version particularly spectacular is how the featured French bulldog captures the same cherub-like yearning look at the Madonna as in the original.
We can just imagine how art scholars and experts alike are going debate for years to come about these comparisons!
The prestige and dignity of art – contrary to any spontaneous interest – is what seems to keep people visiting museums, so these casual reinterpretations are a welcome change!
It would seem that art is not just here ‘for art’s sake,’ and this challenge might help us to look at our surroundings with a new sense of creativity.
It’s been said that art museums are now our new cathedrals: in other words, that art can bring us together and heal us as religions once did. Are these modern interpretations, helping us connect with strangers and reconsidering what art really is for.
This adaptation was very true to the original! It almost seems as if they could have been two images taken after the girl with the pearl earring grew up a little!
What is Art?
Diego Rivera masterfully created The Flower Carrier, and like many of Rivera’s paintings, this famous painting imparts simplicity, but it also carries significant meaning. While the basket of flowers is strikingly beautiful to us as observers, the man does not see their beauty, but only feels their value as he carries them to the market te sell.
Some suppose that the heavy basket strapped to the man’s back is representative of the burdens that workers face in our modern world.
Random Objects Found At Home
With each new recreation, we can re-examine the idea of art. In an odd but quietly fundamental way, works of art ‘speak’ to us. Some speak of chaos or aggression, while others seem to be whispering of calm or graceful dignity, or gentleness.
Seeing the Simpsons repurposed in this portrayal of ‘Modern Rome,’ we can’t help but marvel at how well this rookie has captured the feeling of the original painting.
Are you planning to take part in this challenge? If yes, what work of art would you like to recreate? Here we see a recreation of ‘Rage, the Flower Thrower’, one of the most iconic stencils by Banksy. Like most of his artwork, the messages are usually evident as here he has replaced a weapon with a bunch of flowers.
The flowers themselves signify hope and peace. This guy even painted his clothes to get the same stencil effect!
It seems that museums no longer have to act as some kind of dead storage space for art and history that stays silent as to its real purpose. Art deserves to be reborn as a kind of a remedy to our modern world, that brings inspiration and comfort to our sometimes confused and anxious lives.
Kinda like this painting, and it’s moving tribute, both of them are incredibly dreamy and calming to look at.
We can certainly relate to this, with a comfy couch, yellow book, and a black dress, not much was needed to recreate this look. Who hasn’t felt like this? “Just lie down and look like you’re about to take a nap.” Done!
This may be a great way to learn about art while being creative with what you have on hand at home.
Some artists use paint, while others use clay or marble, but this guy decided to build his unique work of art out of toy building blocks, Lego bricks, to be exact.
Who said Lego couldn’t make a perfect replica of a valuable painting? Technically, this painting is worth $25 million, and Lego costs a few dollars per set, so that’s a pretty good saving!
Capturing the Feel
With so many posts on Instagram, the submissions to the page span the range from Renaissance art to modern photography. While they reflect distinct eras and artistic forms, they are unified in their approach.
Each image shows such inventiveness—whether it’s getting the outfit just right or interpreting the painting to our modern life.
Spoons, Both Big and Small
The Spoonbridge and Cherry by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen can be found floating on a human-made dam at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. As we can see, someone decided to make a modest life-sized version in their own kitchen.
We must admit, id we saw the real exhibition in person, it’s probably not quite the same, but when we compare them in photographs, they come pretty close!
Similar Yet So Different
Whistler’s mother is the official title of this famous artwork, and many have gathered to stare at the elderly, seated figure staring into the distance. The painting in oils on canvas was created by the American-born painter James McNeill Whistler.
Despite being so different in age, both these subjects sit at the forefront, one is someone’s mother, while the girl is someone’s daughter, but both are certainly at the forefront of someone’s heart.
The Son of Man
Magritte’s Famous Contribution to Surrealism is titled The Son of Man as one of the most recognizable paintings of the surrealist movement, Magritte’s portrayal is both vague and straightforward, with the meaning left to the interpretation of the onlooker.
The man behind the floating apple in the second photo seemed to enjoy remaking this just as much, as he tweeted, “Great fun, thank you!”
Portrait of the Artist’s Wife, Anna Burnazyan
Throughout the coronavirus, people have had to come up with creative ways to keep themselves preoccupied at home.
With some keeping their creative juices flowing by taking inspiration from some of the most recognizable artworks in history. There have been many art lovers that have taken on the challenge with so much vigor and vim!
The #GettyMuseumChallenge has transformed into a worldwide online exhibition, with re-creations popping up across Instagram, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, personal blogs, and even the news!
Everyone found their favorite art to re-create and their ideal re-creation to laugh at or shed a tear, whatever it is, we find them all very moving.
What Would Your First Instinct Be?
Truthfully, this re-creation is no weirder than the original. Imagine someone coming up to you and saying, “check this gnarly gap in my chest,” and your first instinct stick your finger in it!
It’s rude to prod someone’s wound without permission, at least ask before you do it!
As social media marches on, this particular challenge feels timeless, much like many of these artworks. What a better way to celebrate art than to share all these ingenious creations around the world? Andy Warhol famously painted these soup cans in 1962.
Many people have wondered why he decided to paint soup cans? Many have thought because they are a daily dietary staple, but the real reason is that he liked soup!
The Portrait we see here is of the Journalist Sylvia von Harden is a painting that was done by German painter Otto Dix, in 1928. The painting was made with a mixed technique of oil and tempera.
But we reached a new level of art appreciation with this recreation, the attention to detail is magic!
Let Them Eat Mondrian Cake
Mondrian cake may just be the next trend to hit the baking community, it’s colorful, pleasing to the eye, and there is a multitude of patterns to choose from! This painting may look like a piece of cake, but to bake something this precise and is actually really hard, probably much harder than unseasoned bakers would think!
We’re sure that there was a lot of planning involved, not only do you have to get the measurements right but also the execution. Good job, Kynoa!
Self-Portrait with a Bandaged Ear
Van Gogh was famous for his self-portraits; they were frank statements of his self-perception at the time when he struggled with mental illness. His paintings were notable for their emotion and color — but unfortunately, he remained destitute and mostly unknown throughout his life.
Kevin James did well in his rendition, good thing he has an old tobacco pipe, we never see those anymore!
Ann Zumhagen-Krause nailed this reenactment of a Vermeer masterpiece; she got her husband involved—it seems they are both art enthusiasts. They covered a table with a patterned blanket, added a globe, found a chair with the same outline, and after some fun posing for the shot, it’s almost picture perfect.
The light coming in the window is just right for the mood, and we bet they had a blast setting it up!
To help promote people’s artistic juices flowing, the Getty Museum has even posted a helpful guide on their website that gives tips on choosing an artwork, get the best light, and, finally, share on social media platforms.
Who said you need a paintbrush and canvas to modernize this masterpiece? It might not be the exact replica but it comes pretty close!
Artist and Amateurs
With so many being isolated at home, people are feeling restless to do something, so this has been a pleasant way to have a community not only with those closest to us but also with friendly strangers on the world-wide-web.
If this challenge has done anything really, it’s built a community for people who love and appreciate art, whether or not they’re an artist.
It’s not quite the same spread, but the attempt is certainly close enough. This Twitter user abandons having tea in fancy china, with buttered bread and opts for soda instead and sandwiches as he modernizes this still life.
This comparison is a clear reminder of how times have changed, with our modern diet becoming more focused on convenience and less about ritual.
The most heartwarming part of this challenge is not just the creations, but how kind and generous people are when commenting about their favorite pieces.
When the Getty Museum team was thinking about what they could do during this trying time, with so many institutions being closed, it seemed natural that they thought of this idea. That what art could offer all of us during this time is a sense of community.
Seeing Art Differently
Once limitations on public life are lifted, and life returns to as it was before, participation in the Getty social media challenge will certainly fade.
Recreating these looks may be difficult, but that is is the point and makes this challenge, umm well, challenging.
A Relief From Boredom
While relief from the anxiety and boredom of the pandemic is not yet in sight, many are finding some comfort in the act of creating and engaging with art by participating in this challenge.
This outfit, with the flannel plants and the makeshift hat, comes pretty close to the real deal, good thing he had a flute close by!
Pug With a Pearl Earring
Some followers used their pets as stand-ins as human replacements, while everyone who joined in on the fun had to get inventive about what items they would use.
This pug looks oh so regal, and she’s our second favorite girl with a pearl earring!
Basket of Things
Toilet paper fruit, to be exact. This is both spot-on and funny! His baskets with toilet paper instead of fruits have been changed to something a bit more topical at the start of quarantine.
This is exactly the type of toilet paper humor we were hoping to see out of this contest!
Klimt Would Be Proud
This is fiercely well done! There’s an excellent eye for detail for everything from the backdrop to the DIY fan to her outfit and even her hair!
Klimt would have been proud! We know we are, you go girl!
Genius! With a flower crown and handmade earrings, this is undoubtedly a Kahlo painting, she simply grabbed some objects with a similar color scheme and theme and made do!
She may have attached a unibrow and iconic red lips, but where is her mustache?
Creepy But Well Done
An excellent rendition of Magritte’s The Lovers artwork! They’ve captured just about every part of the painting, and it must not have been an easy photo to take, considering you wouldn’t be able to see your camera!
We won’t comment on the lack of social distancing, after all, at least they’re wearing masks.
This tribute is definitely a well-executed attempt, especially considering that it’s a surrealist painting! The dreamlike feel of the original may be missing in the modern-day version, but it makes up for that by making us laugh!
The two Lego statues look almost as serious, but being Lego men, they only make us giggle!
It’s near impossible to recreate a Picasso painting with a real-life human being, seeing as Picasso made human beings look like alien beings from another world. And yet this skilled and imaginative makeup artist made it happen!
With some dedication to the details and clever camera work, she’s made it picture perfect!
Basically the Same Picture
These easy yet surprising recreations are our favorites. While some people go all out to try and recreate these really intense, perfect re-creations, others keep it low-key and still manage to achieve some sort of resemblance.
All she needed was a vacuum, a low sitting chair, and to stare blankly into the distance.
Pretty in Pink
She seriously looks just as bemused as the woman on the left. Leaning on a fireplace, with a red covering, both capture the same relaxed feeling.
Even though our interiors aren’t as lavish as they used to be, both these creations have a specific dream quality that lends itself charmingly to the overall concept.
This creator went all in! They went to painstaking efforts to remake the original painting as ideally as possible! The costume and face paint is fantastic, really incredibly done!
With the outfit mismatched and overdone, all she needed was a few vivid colors and voila, perfection!
The Essence of It
Not every submission was meant to capture the essence of the painting perfectly! As we can see in this case, we have to squint to see the similarity between the two, but it’s there.
And that’s okay, the challenge was indeed to make these scenes with what you had lying around, and they did exactly that!
That Caught Our Attention
We’re shocked that toilet paper hasn’t played a more significant ‘roll’ during this challenge! It was such a hot topic for that first couple of weeks of quarantine!
But we’re delighted to see this model use it for her neck collar; it definitely catches our attention!
A Fantastic Adaptation
Both capture the same soothing feeling, with such bright colors and what an eye for detail! The mixed media artwork on the right makes for an impressive tribute to the famous masterpiece by Vincent Van Gogh.
Look at us, learning so much about art! By the end of this, we’ll be art aficionados.
Cat in the Hat
There’s a saying that goes ‘you should save the best for last,’ and that’s precisely what we’ve done! This is by far our favorite of all the entries we’ve found. We’re suckers for any of these entries that involve animals, they’re just so hilarious.
It’s so classic that the photo is almost recognizable just on its own!
Fun Art Project
With some very clever use of carpeting and cardboard cutouts, and we have a really elegant re-creation of Klimt’s ‘Mother and Child.’
Note how still the baby is lying, it probably took a few shots to capture the perfect photo!