Not all art has an apparent purpose in the beginning, but in the end, it turns out to be very relevant. Volker Hermes has been creating a series of "Hidden Portraits" for over 10 years, where he manipulates photos of classical paintings tangled up in head accessories. It seemed like an innocent play of imagination until it became very poignant when the COVID-19 pandemic took place.

Artwork itself is best at explaining itself. The second best option is an artist's explanation. Luckily, we have both options. Here's what Volker told Bored Panda about his project: "first of all, I am an artist, a painter. My photo collages are a reflection on the social meaning and our treatment of old masters. I don't paint them because I think it's no longer contemporary to paint that way, so I decided to do Photoshop interventions."

More info: Instagram | volkerhermes.de | Facebook

#1

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

bon bon (still purple boi)
Community Member
2 months ago

all i wanted to see is this

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"I have great respect for incredible historical paintings. I don't add anything to the outside portraits, all the modifications come from the painting itself. I pay attention to the characteristics of the artists, brushstrokes, light, etc. My interventions should be as plausible as possible."

#2

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

bon bon (still purple boi)
Community Member
2 months ago

wowza

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#3

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Allmeow-err
Community Member
2 months ago

This one gives me Lady Gaga vibes <3

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"Portraits were commissioned only by the elite. They were amazingly expensive and are full of codes and allusions in clothing or with attributes that refer to a high rank, which we no longer understand because our society is different. That's why we today look at the portrayed ones mostly in the face, because we don't understand the codes of the rest of the picture anymore. I block this access—I cover the person and one must now look at the painting completely differently. But I use allusions to our society today, so I bring together the past and the present."

#4

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Paul Budhram
Community Member
2 months ago

how to: protect from covid:

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#5

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Fixin'Ta
Community Member
2 months ago

Got the mask right, but that ungloved hand ...

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"I studied painting at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. I started my project on historical portraits more than 10 years ago and have continued it consistently parallel to my painting. In my paintings, I often reflect on historical contexts, but it is anything but old-masterly.I taught myself how to edit images with Photoshop and I use this programme probably quite unconventionally, always from a painter's point of view."

#6

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

serenagun
Community Member
2 months ago

she's gorgeous

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#7

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Exotic Panda
Community Member
2 months ago

.....wrong way, pretty tho!

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"Since the project has been going on for so long, the current pandemic has not directly affected my work, because, of course, my project is not about medical masks. But I now know what life with masks feels like and that is really new. And the attention for my work has become much higher, which is absolutely amazing.

I have many painters that I like very much—after all, we are talking about a very long period of time. To pick out one would not be fair."

#8

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Elijah Marpel-Zarate
Community Member
2 months ago

cool but looks like a masked robber

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#9

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Little Ms. Quirky
Community Member
2 months ago

the pose suddenly reminded me of bruce lee-

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#10

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Fixin'Ta
Community Member
2 months ago

Hadn't thought of this -- might be a good way to keep my mask from sliding down. A nice, fat bow.

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#11

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Kitty Luna Darrow
Community Member
2 months ago

This is hands down the prettiest one

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#12

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Elijah Marpel-Zarate
Community Member
2 months ago

pretty

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#13

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Fixin'Ta
Community Member
2 months ago

Over the nose AND mouth, sweetie.

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#14

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Lydia Gichia-Black
Community Member
2 months ago

I like it, but it kinda sends a hint of bondage.

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#15

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Jessica
Community Member
2 months ago

Mood.

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#16

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Lydia Gichia-Black
Community Member
2 months ago

I WANT THIS NOW!!!!!

#17

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Elijah Marpel-Zarate
Community Member
2 months ago

Beautiful

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#18

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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serenagun
Community Member
2 months ago

i think i would wear this lmao

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#19

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Cherye Norris
Community Member
2 months ago

I think I like this one the most !

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#20

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Julia Atkinson
Community Member
2 months ago

My eyes are up here, somewhere

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#21

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Anna Sadacca
Community Member
2 months ago

get into silk sheets with all that satin and you have yourself a greased pig

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#22

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Jonathan
Community Member
2 months ago

'Oh nowhere fancy, just popping out for a pint of milk.'

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#23

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Fixin'Ta
Community Member
2 months ago

Yeah, that's not gonna stop any germs, there, lady.

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#24

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Anna Sadacca
Community Member
2 months ago

"my super power is the OCTOPI"

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#25

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Jonathan
Community Member
2 months ago

'Uh, don't even ask...'

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#26

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Maya Jones
Community Member
2 months ago

um what

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#27

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Jeff Diamond
Community Member
2 months ago

NOBODY EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!

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#28

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Lydia Gichia-Black
Community Member
2 months ago

Fancy fern leaf mask, check. Awesome purple hair dye, check. Pretty pink bedazzled headband, oh yeah!

#29

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

volker.hermes Report

Jessica
Community Member
2 months ago

Why is this how I feel when I’ve spent too much time around other people I love this

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#30

Masked Portraits Of A German Painter Is Now The Sensation Of Instagram

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Simping for the wrong kind
Community Member
2 months ago

he gotta SNOOT

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Note: this post originally had 97 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.