I love classic art/pop culture mash-ups. It’s one of my favorite things to come out of the internet age. The most recognizable image from this “new” genre is the “Girl with the Pearl Earring Selfie” that was making the rounds a few years back.
“But wait!” you say. “Artists have been doing this for decades.”
True, the Pop Art and Dada movements had their way of manipulating classics into something new, but this is different in a couple of ways. This new age of digital art is made to be “throw-away” similar to Dada, but it takes an even more nihilistic approach with the addition of anonymity that the internet provides. I can’t find the name of the artist for the Vermeer selfie piece mentioned earlier. It just sort of appeared on the internet and was shared around for all to see.
The second difference from previous movements is that this art isn’t making a lasting statement. This was the intention of some Dada artists, but ironically their efforts changed much of how modern art was viewed in the 20th century. These new images are fleeting in their impact; no one really forgot Fountain by Duchamp.
I view most of this as a refined part of “meme” culture, but I think it stands apart from it. I would almost put it under the “Vaporwave” umbrella, but that would be too extreme.
Am I giving it way too much thought? Perhaps. Maybe I’m just looking for an intellectual reason for making a picture of Goku in the style of Van Gogh.
— Mike Allen
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