Japanese graphic designer Shusaku Takaoka [ @shusaku1977 ] brings us this contemporary collage using the 1665 masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring by dutch painter Johannes Vermeer. The composite of the street crossing photo and Vermeer painting seems seamless, it works so well, even with the frame. It would be much easier to have cut and pasted just her isolated head on that modern body, yet Takaoka goes a step further including the entire painting plus ornate frame.
I have to give the artist props for I would imagine this ornate border would make it much harder to ‘work’ within the context of the new piece, but it’s done immaculately, and gives a taste of art history for those who do not recognize the fine art piece incorporated within.
Similar to musicians sampling classic beats, this work samples while paying homage to Girl with a Pearl Earring (1665), only this time, it’s girl with a Chanel bag.
Though Japanese graphic designer Shusaku Takaoka's use of classic works of art in her contemporary collages is seamless, is it stealing? Is incorporating the art of others into ones own the same as rappers sampling beats and lyrics from classic hits into current hit releases?---and is that re-purposing, recycling, or straight up robbery? In this latter debate I have always shook my head at hip hop songs gaining traction from a generation who has never even heard the classic tune it references. It's like a tried and true measure to succeed without necessarily needing the talent to back it up for success. But as I look at this art piece, I realize that I feel exactly the opposite about its theft (as I would choose the term 'use'). What a hypocrite I am---but then again have I ever really listened to hip-hop music beyond the radio hits? I must come to the conclusion that to each his or her own. However, the body of work of the graphic or musical artist will speak for itself and determine if the 'hit single' is a one hit wonder. Beyond the first success, the talent, or lack thereof, will speak for itself.
Whether or no you believe this is art, let us know by commenting your thoughts below [or elsewhere] using the hashtag #instaartotw and #girlwithachanelbag. For weekly Insta Art, follow @theanalartist on Instagram as we feature new artwork from the wonderful artists of Instagram using the hashtag #InstaArtOTW