Back in March, when the pandemic still felt like a hiccup rather than a life sentence, newly housebound people killed time and entertained one another by photographing themselves (and their kids and their pets) along with household items to re-create famous works of art from the Getty’s collection.
A house cat in a bonnet became Édouard Manet’s Jeanne (Spring), two little boys with paper plates for wings became the cherubs in Raphael’s The Madonna of San Sisto, and a Raggedy Ann doll (with plastic doodads added as genitals) became da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man.
The so-called Getty Challenge quickly went viral, generating upward of 100,000 submissions. Now, the museum is releasing a book that compiles some of the most creative reimagined classics. Off the Walls: Inspired Re-Creations of Iconic Artworks is out September 22, and all the profits will be donated to Artist Relief.
“We are endlessly grateful for the Internet’s embrace of this challenge,” Annelisa Stephan, Assistant Director of Digital Content at Getty, and Sarah Waldorf, Social Media Lead at Getty, say in the preface of the book. “It speaks to the power of art to bond us together. Art invites us into the experience of others and connects us with our shared past. In isolation, a sense of community is sacred.”