Japanese Graphic Designer Photoshops Your Favourite Celebrities Into the World’s Most Famous Paintings

Photo of India Irving
Social Media Editor2 November 2017

There are certain characters in paintings that have seamlessly made their way into the canon of pop culture. From the Mona Lisa and her cheeky smile to Vincent Van Gogh and his ginger beard, many artists today call upon these superstars to infuse their work with an element of the past, but there is one artist in particular who is quite possibly doing it best.

Japanese graphic designer Shusaku Takaoka takes these much loved figures from the depths of art history and plants them into our contemporary daily lives.

Whether it’s melding the face of a framed, famous painting onto the body of a present-day person or popping famous celebrities into the scene of an iconic artwork, he infuses the old with the new and the new with the old, creating a quirky and relatable style all his own.

By incorporating celebrities, such as Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Uma Thurman’s Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction, into his work, Shusaku is in a sense creating the ultimate pop art; famous faces of the past meet famous faces of today. In the artist’s world, Van Gogh wears a Supreme-logo hoodie and Angelina Jolie becomes the Virgin Mary. Nothing is off limits and no element of our present-day culture is safe from his critique.

This even goes a step further if you incorporate the fact that the artist uses Instagram, a pillar of millennial culture, as his gallery of choice.

It seems clear that not only is Shusaku creating inventive artwork, but also commenting on society as a whole, touching on topics such as materialism, consumerism, sex, drugs and even our obsession with brands and fashion. How often is a piece of art this lighthearted and deep at the same time?

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