There I was, quietly eating my cornflakes in this morning’s Sunday sunshine, reading the Sunday Times magazine, idly watching the labrador putting up with two overly affectionate kittens, when I came across still more examples of art imitating art – or transcribing art, anyway.

Back in March 2010 I posted a blog entry something a long the lines of “you can appropriate – but you’d better not plagiarize!” and have revisited the homage, appropriation, transcription, reinterpretation etc theme regularly since then.

We want our IBDP visual arts students to be aware of art so we should support them if that awareness spills over into their being informed and /or influenced by art. I currently have a large still-in-progress version of Hopper’s Nighthawks being worked on by a first year student. She’s making a piece about America and American culture, and has included snippets of other America artworks in her homage to Hopper.

Anyway, you are probably already aware of the photographerGérard Rancinan – he’s been around for a while and is well established, with a number of big, prestigious and critically acclaimed exhibitions to his name.

But what caught my eye in the Times were the photographic versions of Gericault and Deleacrox masterpieces. The originals were both political, of course, but Rancinan has updated the politics. The writhing figures are accurately posed to represent the French artist’s 1819 painting “The Raft of the Medusa”, but there are additional elements – the multicultural crowd clothed in fashionable tatters, waving at a distant Hollywood sign (with the Eiffel Tower floating in the distance?).

‘Boat people’ are now not just the shipwrecked, but are would-be immigrants fleeing economic or political uncertainty in their homeland, and heading across the sea for a new life…

Similarly with the Delacroix, the central figure (Liberty) is now wearing a black niqab escorted by a  child soldier holding a Kalashnikov and a can of Coke. McDonald’s golden arches ale glow in the background.

By the way, David LaChapelle also had a go at “The Raft” (with a little more nudity).



YOUTUBE on Gérard Rancinan 

MakingOf Photos – Diane Tell – Gérard Rancinan


The Photographer 


Love Or Sex? — Galerie Brugier-Rigail 


Lotus Metamorphosis – Project Rancinan – Behind the Scenes