Ever wonder what people from the future would think of our art today?
Or what old Renaissance art would look like if it were transformed to reflect today’s standards?
Well we may not ever know the answer to the first question, but an artist named Rebecca Ruten is trying to work out the second.
Ruten takes modern junk food and people and transforms them into photos that mimic old Renaissance paintings.
The posed looks, classic table settings, flowing robes — they’re all here.
The photo series is a commentary on the prevalence of fast food culture in today’s modern world, while still taking note of Ruten’s fascination with the “eroticism, presentation and charisma of paintings from the Renaissance Period.”
While the tattoos, giant beards and fried chicken may seem out of place at first, the juxtaposition of the old and new, elegant and common are still some of the very themes addressed in Renaissance art.
Not to mention, there are few things more beautiful than a full box of perfectly glazed donuts, just waiting for someone to grab.
During the conception of “Contemporary Pieces, ”I became enamored with the eroticism, presentation and charisma of paintings from the Renaissance Period. In the Late Renaissance, Italian and Dutch painters dealt with the middle and lower classes. In my opinion, Fast Food Culture represents these two social classes in the United States today. To eat healthy is expensive. However, one can buy large amounts of food at a fast food restaurant for a comparatively low price.
I studied books on the Renaissance from the University Library. By using laborers, gypsies and prostitutes for models, the portraits of Caravaggio create a different feeling. I asked friends to model for me and recreate the poses of the people in the paintings, with the new touches that I added. I like the fact that my friends in these photographs have tattoos and piercings. It underlines the concept that they are ‘Children of the Modern Age,’ having been brought up in the changing America, often defined by the culture of Fast Food.
It was significant that many of my friends try to avoid Fast Food. In their eyes, Fast Food in the United States is comprised of genetically modified items that are designed only for mass consumption. To them, the food becomes a non-edible object and loses its value as being considered Food.
The result is a series of 5 Portraits and 5 Still Life photographs. The images have a definite sense of humor to them, which helps when talking about social issues with a variety of origins as these photographs contain. Like the old Masters this work is dealing with transience and beauty, but I clearly want to stay away from giving any directions since everybody is allowed to have an own interpretation.