Reimagining Classic Artworks as Pixelated Messes

Sunday June 09, 2019 Written by garry

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The thing about famous works of art is that they’re still so often recognisable even when they're seriously messed with – a kind of mysterious cultural imprint that lasts centuries after their creation. American pop artist Adam Lister tests the boundaries of our recognition with his Art History 101 series, which breathes new life into some of the classics. From Van Gogh's Bedroom in Arles (above) to Michaelangelo's statue of David (below, left) and Da Vinci's Mona Lisa (below, right), Lista breaks down these iconic artworks into simpler, geometric forms using the softening medium of watercolour. 

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So why whittle down such diverse works into rectangular pixels? Lister writes that he wanted to simultaneously highlight both the “complexity and simplicity” inherent in the original paintings, with a goal of capturing “the briefness of the mental picture”. Whether he achieves that or not is in the eye of the beholder, but he's sure managed to create some clever and utterly eye-catching works of art. 

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Above: 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte', Art History 101 series by Adam Lister.
(Original Painting by Georges-Pierre Seurat, 1884–1886).

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Above: 'Starry Night Over the Rhône', Art History 101 series by Adam Lister. (Original Painting by Vincent van Gogh, 1888).