All of the paintings below may seem familiar to you, but they lack a certain something… In his “Hidden spaces“ (Espacios occultos) image series, Spanish artist José Manuel Ballester removes the people from classical paintings, revealing unnoticed hidden spaces (hence the name) and objects.

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Combining modern technologies with classical art, he invites viewers to look at these masterpieces from a new angle and reinterpret the stories we think we already know. The removal of people creates a different effect in each painting – in some, you can see the traces of a tragedy or the aftermath of a drama in the objects left behind, while others simply leave you wondering where everybody’s gone. Each new-found empty space is open for interpretations and discoveries.

For more information about his artwork, check out Jose Manuel Ballester’s interview with Bored Panda below!

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The Birth of Venus (Sandro Botticelli, c.1486)

At first sight the whole series can inspire some humour, but after a deeper look it’s not difficult to find transcendence and the multiple possible interpretations, both as new images and as related to their original counterparts,” Juan Manuel Ballester told Bored Panda.

The Raft of Medusa (Théodore Géricault, 1819)

One of the clearest aspects in this series is the way we can understand art from the point of view of each period, which has an unique way of looking and understanding reality shared by artists, who develop their creativity inside those period’s values and connect with ideas and universal precepts extended in time

The Third of May 1808 (Francisco Goya, 1814)

About the series, for now I reached even Paul Strand, so it’s not only about paintings, but also photography

The Last Supper (Leonardo da Vinci, 1498)

Christ Crucified (Diego Velázquez,1632)

Las Meninas (Diego Velázquez,1656)

The Allegory of Painting (Jan Vermeer, 1668)

Guernica (Pablo Picasso, 1937)

Thank you for answering our questions, Jose. Your exploration of art is truly eye-opening!