The most iconic paintings throughout history are still carrying important messages through the art of today's artists. An Italian digital artist, known on social media as CRUDEOIL 2.0, gave old paintings a new life as social satire. The 24-year-old artist reimagined famous classical paintings in the modern world, with a highlight on technology and social media, to poke fun at what's wrong with our world. CRUDEOIL 2.0 has a degree in Fashion Design, but in parallel to the world of fashion, he is "following an artistic path by using software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects for the animation of images."
"My imagery was born as a critique of society, saturated with social, aesthetic canons, and appearances. This concept is reflected in my works that deal with social media as a new religion and a new creed. To express my intent, I take artworks from the past and re-contextualize them to the present day. In fact, in my works, the main character is a smartphone, my identifying mark," the artist told Bored Panda.
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We asked the artist about his inspirations.
"My first inspiration is society and everything around us every day: smartphones, technology in general, social media, aesthetic canons, and trends. At the beginning of my artistic journey, I found inspiration from Christopher Boffoli and his 'big appetites studio.' Now, I really appreciate the works of Banksy and TvBoy."
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"I would like people who look at my artworks to think about how our lives have changed with social networks. It is a real critique, a complaint, and a sort of reflexive irony against society, using social media to express my thoughts," CRUDEOIL 2.0 explained.
In his work, the artist talks about beauty standards, the chase for likes and follows, objectification, dependence on social media, the narcissism that comes with popularity, and other topics.
"My intent is to continue to spread these messages that they are always evolving. Every day I have a new idea of how I can make my works the best they can be."
"The World Of Social Media"
The decision to use classic paintings by some of the best artists through history is not accidental. CRUDEOIL 2.0 hopes to educate younger audiences about art history while expressing his opinions on the world at the same time: "The choice of using classic paintings is an attempt to spread art also among the younger generation."
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The artist told us about the process of creating his satirical images: "I don’t have a fixed procedure. Sometimes I start with the classic painting and sometimes I start from an idea. Often the paintings inspire me and afterwards, I imagine how they can be nowadays."
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Started just a few months ago, CRUDEOIL 2.0 has gained almost 8 thousand followers on Instagram. The artist says he is prepared for any reaction that his controversial art might evoke.
"I am conscious that my works deal with strong themes against society and I’m ready for any reactions they may provoke in people. However, I have a lot of positive feedback because people, through my works, think about the message I would like to express."
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When asked what he would change about the society we live in, the artist said: "I think modern society is too focused on appearances, on people’s opinion, and on getting consent. Social media has an important role in our lives, so much so that some people try to imitate the lifestyle of the most influencing users, from their aesthetic to the way they dress."
Finally, CRUDEOIL 2.0 had some encouraging words for any upcoming artists: "I would like to advise all upcoming artists to have the courage to express their art, whatever it may be. Art is a freedom of expression."
CRUDEOIL 2.0 admitted that when the world goes back to normal, or at least when it's possible, he would like to take part in a temporary exhibition or have his artwork exhibited in an art gallery.
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Note: this post originally had 48 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.