Art State of Mind

Art Memes in the Time of Quarantine

Rachel Witte 22 April 2020 min Read

Memes seem to be the way that our generation sees the world. We send, make, and, most of all, laugh at them. It may not come as a surprise then that with all of our spare time, there are people who have taken to editing famous artworks into art memes. Likewise, old images and artworks have resurfaced during this time that correlate with quarantine. Especially during these times, laughter goes a long way.

Keep Your Hands Clean Art Meme

An ad agency partnered with the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine to re-edit famous artworks centered around the do’s and don’t’s of quarantining and self-isolation.

Raphael art memes
Looma Creative, Art of Quarantine (Edits), Raphael, Portrait of a Young Man in Red, ca. 1505, Source: Behance, 2020.

Creation of Adam
Looma Creative, Art of Quarantine (Edits), Michelangelo, Creation of Adam, ca. 1512, Source: Behance, 2020.

Looma Creative, Art of Quarantine (Edits), Giovanni Battista Salvi, Praying Madonna, ca. 1670, Source: Behance, 2020.

To Mask or Not to Mask?

To wear a mask or not? It is currently in debate for the general public. Well, someone already decided for Raphael, turning him into a 2020 art meme.

Edit by Jasmine Weber, Raphael, Self-Portrait, 1504-06, Source: HyperAllergic, 2020.

Online Learning Art Meme

College students have longed use computers for distance and online learning. However, with the onset of the pandemic, more and more schools have switched to online learning to combat the fact that schools have closed. Zoom, an online video communication system, was the answer. Below, someone has taken a famous Rembrandt painting and edited it to resemble a Zoom meeting in progress.

Zoom Rembrandt art memes
Edit by Colin Lyons, Zoom Lesson, Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Telp, 1632, Source: Twitter, 2020.

Stock Up On Supplies

Edvard Munch’s The Scream is not only one of the most replicated paintings in history, but one of the most well known and iconic. Below, cartoonist Tom Curry made his own version of The Scream, titled Panic.

The Scream art memes
Tom Curry, Panic, 2020, Source: The Week Publications Inc. 2020.

Social Distancing and Self-Isolation

Edward Hopper is known for his paintings depicting solitude. But what happens when you remove the few figures in his painting titled Nighthawks? You get a lesson in how to social distance and stay home. One artist’s rendering from several years ago is highly relevant in 2020.

(Reddit user) DamnBurglar, computer rendered version of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks, ca. 2015, Source: Reddit, 2020.

There is no shortage of art memes this year. Just google your favorite work of art and it may have already been edited into something new for the sake of the humor of the world’s population during the pandemic that we are experiencing.

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