Two young women from Delhi are using Instagram for a unique project that recreates paintings made by iconic artists from across the world in the form of stunning photographs.
The project is the brainchild of childhood friends Delhi-based artist Pakhi Sen (and illustrator Orijit Sen's daughter) and art history student Samira Bose. It all started with Amrita Sher-Gil, the legendary Indo-Hungarian artist, who is often called India's Frida Kahlo. "We felt deeply connected to and inspired by her," Sen told HuffPost India. "She was a fierce, strong woman, someone ahead of her times and deeply feminist."
In March, Sen and Bose, both of whom also share a love for design, decided to perform and photograph some of Sher-Gil's self-portraits at home. They invited their friends to dress and pose as Sher-Gil, creating lush backdrops and costumes using bedsheets, Banarasi saris and other textiles at home. They called the series 'Reprinting Amrita Sher-Gil'. "We realised that we all like Sher-Gil, which was shocking because all of us look so different," Sen recalled.
The second series in the project focuses on the European Symbolist painter Gustav Klimt. Titled 'If Klimt Could Pop With Photoshop, Would He?', it was made in collaboration with jewellery designer Manreet Deol. Sen and Bose have reimagined paintings such as 'The Kiss' and 'The Girlfriends'.
Like the previous set of photographs, this one makes use of rich textiles such as a kantha blaknet, a natural dye fabric from Rajasthan and saris belong their mothers. Unlike the Sher-Gil series, this one makes use of PhotoShop to highlight the collage-like, cut-and-paste look of Klimt's art.
"We are interested in the way prints clash and mingle, in the way symbols and motifs collide and the manner in which textures interweave with one another," Sen and Bose said in a statement.
Next, they plan to perform a series inspired by Mughal miniatures. You can follow the project here.