Artist Joongwon Jeong likes to imagine how people from the past would have looked nowadays given the modern means of expressing. He basically recreates world-renown classic paintings or famous personalities’ portraits using the modern hyper-realistic glance.
This got me thinking a bit. We don’t really know what Michelangelo really looked like, right? We don’t know what Van Gogh looked like. His self- portraits are dashing, yes, their artistic value is indisputable, yet there are so many things that make a human portrait actually look like the human: a wrinkle here and there, a jawline, a specific frown, every little detail marked into that face. It’s true, art’s purpose is not just to show what something is, but to amaze, stupefy, dazzle, bewilder. Still, modern hyper-realism has shown that there can be a great dose of artistry in every realistic, photography-like shadow and line. That’s the twist and artist Joongwon is doing just that.
He has breathed new life into some amazing classic paintings, like Michelangelo’s God and Adam from the Sistine Chapel fresco or one of Van Gogh’s self-portraits. The results are astonishing and very well be deemed as photographs. You can see every fine wrinkle, possible sunspots all around the skin and the texture of the hair makes you reach out your hand and run your fingers through.
This is truly a great chance to try and look at the figures of the past in a new, modern light and maybe understand them better.
“I think that drawing pictures is a process of conveying the visual gaze to the viewer by looking at the object unfamiliarly and expressing it in my own formative language. Even familiar objects are expressed in various shapes depending on the emotions and thoughts of the observer, the colours and materials used, and the shapes of lines and brush marks”, says the artist. For him, the picture in itself is nothing but a two-dimensional replica, which should make you think and imagine the original object yourself, again and again.
These impressive painting techniques are taught by Jeong in his online class on Class 101. Maybe you want to check them out.
1. Adam by Michelangelo
2. God by Michelangelor
3. Sigmund Freud
4. Giuliano de Medici
5. The Death of Seneca
6. Costanza Bonarelli
7. Venus de Milo
9. Vincent van Gogh
Via My Modern Met