Famous Paintings Updated For The Modern Age Are Hilarious And Fascinating

by Brenda Pitt


If you’ve ever wondered what exactly happened to what to the subject of Edvard Munch’s The Scream, the Korean illustrator Kim Dong-Kyu is happy to inform you: he dropped his iPhone. In “Art x Smart,” the artist updates famous paintings, adding to their subjects the accessories of modern life. Of course the images satirize our dependance upon technology with their inclusion in monumental works of art, but I also like the work because so many of them feature women.



And oddly, the ridiculous gadgets empower female subjects and reveal objectification in ways the original paintings may not. The Girl With The Pearl Earring isn’t sitting for the a man who paints her portrait; she’s taking a selfie. Balconies have a rich iconographic tradition in European art (in the work of Mary Cassatt, Goya, Murillo) with female subjects. Art historian M. Elizabeth Boone notes that women in classic paintings are pictured in a more sexualized way when their modesty is “protected” by the physical confines of the balcony. Women on balconies are therefore sometimes objectified; Dong-Kyu takes this idea a step further in his update of Manet’s The Balcony, accenting the male gaze with a conspicuous iPhone. Technology isn’t the only thing satirized in these works! He does something similar in his interpretation of Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass; male subjects share images of the nude woman. 



Hilarious yet thought-provoking, Dong-Kyu’s work is a must-see. Let us know what you think in the comments!



Thanks to iGNANT

Images via iGNANT

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