This Is What Happens When Ancient Gods Irrupt Into Our Daily Life
September 11, 2018|Patricia Cordero
In "The Daily Life Of Gods," Alexey Kondakov brings characters from 18th and 19th-century paintings into the modern world.
Naked people in classical paintings seem to have a very relaxed life: lying on beautiful and luxurious landscapes, drinking as if every day there was something to celebrate, and just enjoying the simple pleasures of life. Now imagine what their lives would be like if we took brought those characters into the modern world and they had to commute to work, sell records at a store, or fall asleep at a diner, but still be naked or wearing loose tunics like in 18th and 19th-century paintings. Would it be weird at all?
Ukrainian designer Alexey Kondakov brings those characters into modern, urban scenes through digital collages, so we can find, for instance, the Virgin Mary holding baby Jesus in the middle of an empty train, while a crowd of angels plays a lullaby on a violin and mandolin. This artwork, "Song Of The Angels," originally by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, takes on a new, different meaning thanks to the designer's interpretation.
In an interview with Cultura Colectiva, the artist explains that it all started when he saw the work by Van Everdingen "Nymphs Offering The Young Bacchus Wine, Fruit And Flowers," which hangs at the Kunstpalast Museum in Dusseldorf, Germany, and thought: "These guys have a rest as well as we do, what if we put them in our time, in modern surroundings?" And so he did on the way home from work, and then played with some other artworks by Caravaggio, Francesco Furini, Hans Holbein the Younger, and Francesco Hayez, among other painters.
For Kundakov, this is a great way to learn more about some of the greatest artists in history, and also a chance for people to discover art that we usually don't find on social media. The series is called "The Daily Life Of Gods," as most of these artworks often depict mythical or religious characters, but it is also a taste of the sense of humor the artist wants to share with the world. "Good sense of humor is a sign of a creative mind. Sometimes I receive letters from churches to let them use artworks in some email postcards or something. I think it is good to imagine that something divine is near," he says.
Romantic scenes are also featured in this series, like in this portrait of Romeo and Juliet by Frank Bernard Dicksee, but in this case, the lovers are depicted inside a car garage.
The artist, who lives in Kiev, is surprised that his works became so popular. When someone imitates his work, his friends email them and ask if they were made by him.
You can follow Alexey Kondakov on Instagram.
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