A museum asks the public to reinvent a classic painting, with wild results
A girl with an earring? More like Guy with an Apple AirPods.
The Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague has issued an open call for creative versions of Johannes Vermeer’s classic 17th-century painting – with eerie and delightful results.
‘Scroll through posts tagged #mygirlwithapearl on Instagram and you’ll find over 4,500 renditions of the famous oil painting of a young girl wearing a turban, a large earring dangling from her left ear. Tributes range from beautiful to whimsical to surreal, from classic to abstract to steampunk. You’ll see the girl in photos, digital drawings, and oil paintings, and recreated in sculptures made of embroidery floss, toys, school supplies, and multicolored beads and buttons.
She appears as a baby, an older bearded man, a duck, a dog, a rabbit, and a blue Na’vi from Avatar. In more than one image, she is decidedly 21st century, wearing a face mask or headphones or holding a cellphone. An artist superimposed Vermeer’s painting on a Tinder screen, calling the creation “Swipe Right.”
Were some of the digital versions created with an AI art creation tool? You can bet on it.
The Mauritshuis usually houses the famous painting, but for eight weeks from February the work will be on loan for a Vermeer exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Rather than leaving the girl’s wall empty, the Mauritshuis plans to rotate some of the participatory interpretations via a digital display.
“The room where the girl hangs will temporarily become a place of inspiration with as many girls as possible together, from home and abroad,” the museum says.
As the submissions attest, the museum has placed no restrictions on creativity here. “A self-portrait with a bath towel as a turban, a painted iron or a pile of dishes,” he says. “Little is too crazy for us.” Registration for the competition closed on January 15.
Vermeer, one of the most renowned Dutch painters of the 17th century, is known for his intimate domestic scenes and stunning use of light.
Her iconic Girl With a Pearl Earring has made several literary and film appearances, including in a 1999 historical novel of the same name which told a fictionalized story of the painting’s creation. This book led to a 2003 film adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson as a young servant in Vermeer’s household, played by Colin Firth.
If you want to explore the original painting in more detail to better appreciate the reimaginings, an augmented reality feature called Pocket Gallery in Google’s free Google Arts & Culture app offers a virtual exhibition space where you can view and learn more. of Vermeer’s 36 paintings. . None of them have bots.