Written by Marlon Dolcy
06 Monday 06th December 2010

Reworking old paintings is not a new concept. Duchamp’s moustached Mona Lisa is a famous example, as is Warhol’s series of Last Suppers. The Remasters Exhibition presented by Artswipe is a collection of altered, reworked or defaced versions of established paintings throughout the course of art history, submitted by artists such as 6’Jellybaby, Agent Provocateur, European Bob and David Anderson.

Dangerous and Seductive by Twinkle Troughton
Artists have always admired and copied images of or poses from earlier paintings; Rembrandt’s ideas and compositions came from Rubens, Titian and others. Picasso was another big stealer and unashamedly so, he had famously said “if there is something to steal, I will steal it” and this is a philosophy that is true of many artists. But like Duchamp, many of the street artists use the traditional imagery of the old masters as a parody to attack the boundaries of established “high” art. Banksy was perhaps the instigator of this, adding shopping trolleys to a Monet, and CCTV cameras to a Constable.
 Gangster by 6' Jellybaby
In Remasters we get much of the same, with Dave Anderson turning a Van Gogh self-portrait into a comment on contemporary perception of the great artist, and Ryca’s Persistence of Hazard transforming Dali’s most acclaimed work into a two-tone block print while keeping the surrealism of the original.
Tattooed Venus and Cupid by Mark Perronet
Perhaps the most ironic pictures are the ones which are not so much reworked as defaced, in true urban art style. Diego Velázquez's Venus and Cupid is paid particular attention to in this regard and with Mark Perronet’s Tattooed Venus and Cupid poking fun at the original, by commenting on the sexuality of the reclining figure with an elaborate back tattoo. Twinkle Troughton’s Dangerous and Seductive pokes fun at Titian’s Venus of Urbino with Queen Victoria's head is supeimposed on the beautiful body of Titian's Venus, transforming beauty into ugliness. The idea behind Grant Wood's American Gothic theme of Americana is subverted as the male figure becomes a crip gangster, complete with bandana, pistol, dollar sign bling and a 2Pac tee.

Though the idea behind the exhibition was not original, it did produce some interesting works. Some highly imaginative, some tongue in cheek, but mostly just cheeky.

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  • Guest: sb643
    Sun 12 - Dec - 2010, 15:12
    so some people have photoshoped some 'funny' images onto old paintings. Give a shit