Classic Portraits Get Modern Bodies

When we look at classic portraits, it’s easy to feel disassociated from the lives of the people we’re viewing. Often they are surrounded by opulent interiors and clothed in equal splendor, with poses which seem rigid and contrived compared to our modern world of quick snapshots and relaxed clothing. Not until we take one aspect of these images, that which is most timelessly human, do the people become obviously real and easily personalized. That’s just what artist Dorothee Golz has done in her fascinating digital paintings.

Golz mashes up the faces on classic portraits with modern bodies and scenes: a despondent looking Madonna hangs out with punks on the street and Vermeer’s Girl with the Pearl Earring walks through a modern kitchen. The dour expressions on many of the subjects’ faces do well to match our modern unsmiling fashion shots, while the choice remnants of headwear and hair clue us in to their classic origins. Each image is very well created, leaving little difference in skin tone or head position to lessen their apparent reality.


The youthful Golz has been active in the art scene since the early 1980’s, producing a large body of very intriguing work in sculpture, drawing and photography. Her sculptural works often experiment with the form of objects from the home, transforming their shapes by merging multiples of a single item. Check out her website for many more fascinating examples.


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  • DII

    Funny how so many of the women subjects seem to have lost their clothing…

  • Cheesy gimmick, with a side dish o’ misogyny.

    The men get to keep their clothes on, the women have to be naked and objectified. Gotta satisfy that male gaze no matter what.

    It irks me particularly when women artists do this. Go on, throw other women under the bus for a few crumbs of male approval.

  • UJane

    M.K. – Right on.

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