I don’t know what it is with Dutch artworks, but they tend to be redesigned every now and then by some contemporary artist. This time it’s Michael Mapes, an American artist who gave a few 17th century masterpieces by Rembrandt, van der Helst and Pickenoy some solid make-overs.
His technique resembles collage because he uses hundreds of small pieces like pins, capsules, prints, sequins, resin and more to compose the intricately detailed portraits.
These creations by Mapes can also be viewed as scientific specimens because, among the myriad of tiny details, there are also items like hair or eyelashes. These closely-pinned specimen are interesting on their own, but they merge into a whole painting when viewed from farther away.
Mapes said, “In this work, I deconstruct the original subject, in both a figurative and literal sense by dissecting photos of a painting and considering ways in which the parts might serve to inspire new parts within the reconstruction to suggest unique and complex meanings.”