Russians decorate isolation by recreating artworks

A copy of Marc Chagall's 'Green Fiddle Player' artwork and Galina Vishnevskaya's recreation for the Izoizolyacia Facebook page. (Galina Vishnevskaya via AP)

In the coronavirus lockdown, Russians can’t go to their beloved and renowned museums. So they’re filling the holes in their souls by recreating artworks while stuck at home and posting them on social media. The Facebook group where the works are posted has become a huge hit. The art recreations range from studious and reverent to flippant and goofy.

They’re done both by Russians and Russian-speakers abroad. Some 350,000 people are following the group, where thousands of photos are posted, each showing the original work and the mockup made at home. The rules say it must only use items on hand and can’t be digitally manipulated.

There are some impressive surprises in the collection. Vitaly Fonarev carefully recreated the clothes and headdress of Johannes Vermeer’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring” and captured the Dutch artist’s famous glowing light. The work is so convincing that it takes a few moments to notice that the “girl” actually is a man with a few days’ worth of beard stubble.

Irina Kazatsker found the project perfect for her skills. The Canadian photographer had the lights and the backdrops to do a loving recreation of Picasso’s “The Frugal Meal”— with the sly twist of putting a roll of toilet paper on the table.

“I decided to add a provocative detail that corresponds to the spirit of the time,” she said.

Unlike the hours of work that went into elaborate recreations, some appear to have been knocked off in a matter of minutes but are no less appealing.

Natalia Rubina’s rendition of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” involved simply making a hole in a poster of the painting at the spot showing an anguished man’s head, then getting a dog to stick its head through. The dog appears nonplussed.

Katrusya Kosilkova employed an extensive palette of paints and careful brushwork to make her face a copy of the garish colors and fractured perspective of Picasso’s “Weeping Woman.” It was time well-spent, in her view.

“I really think this is a megacool idea. It gives people unbelievably positive emotions and develops creative thinking,” she said. “It helps people from different parts of the world to communicate with one another, to discuss new topics, mechanisms, and on top of this it increases our knowledge about art.”

Katerina Brudnaya-Chelyadinova, a co-founder of the project, is pleased by the wide attention it has received.

“A boy from Italy wrote a post in English saying that our group brought him out of the depths of the tragedy that is happening around him. I was sitting there and I couldn’t hold back my tears because if this can bring happiness to someone, somewhere on the opposite side of the world, then all of this isn’t for nothing,“she said.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

Similar articles

  • Mother of Mankind

    Mother of Mankind

    An exhibition in London showcases 18 black female artists

    HOFA Gallery (House Of Fine Art) in London's Mayfair and ADA contemporary art gallery (Accra, Ghana) have joined forces to premiere a very special art exhibition of 18 all-female contemporary artists. The show, titled Mother of Mankind is the first of its kind to be showcased by both galleries. Curator of the exhibition is Adora Mba, Founder of ADA contemporary art gallery.

  • Architecture that generates light in dialogue with time

    Architecture that generates light in dialogue with time

    With the opening of an exhibition by architectural photographer Camilla Borghese on 7 July in the Bulgarian capital, the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia mark Italian Design Day. The exhibition is entitled Form and Light: The Sign of Architectural Continuity.

  • Artists of naive art from all over the world exhibit in Veliko Tarnovo

    Artists of naive art from all over the world exhibit in Veliko Tarnovo

    International Salon Naive is presenting an enriched exposition in the town of Veliko Tarnovo. The exhibition halls Rafael Mihaylov are the second location after Sofia where artists from all over the world who paint in a naive style show their artworks, announced Daniela Ossikovska, a volunteer for the organisation team at the opening of the event.