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Alonso Sánchez Coello, Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli, 16th century
Re-creation: Laura BelcondeAlonso Sánchez Coello, Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli, 16th century

The Getty’s viral art re-creation challenge is being turned into a book

And all proceeds will benefit artists around the country.

By
Michael Juliano
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There’s not a lot about this spring that we can really look back on with fondness. But the Getty’s viral art challenge left us laughing and impressed, so we’re glad we have another excuse to revisit it.

In late March, shortly after the announcement of its temporary closure, the museum put a call out on its social media channels for people to re-create a work of art with whatever they had in their homes (think: Starry Night made out of spaghetti or The Creation of Adam with pups touching paws). The submissions poured in, and now, over 100,000 at-home masterpieces later, the Getty is assembling its favorites into a book.

Off the Walls features 246 re-creations, each paired with the works that inspired them. In some cases, a piece is shown opposite a single re-creation, say Leonardo da Vinci’s The Vitruvian Man next to a desaturated photo of two dolls stacked on top of each other. But for some more popular pieces, you may find a setup like Edvard Munch’s The Scream opposite a page of nine photos of homages made of fabric or food.

Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889Re-creation: @clairesalvo
Leonardo da Vinci, The Vitruvian Man, ca. 1490
Leonardo da Vinci, The Vitruvian Man, ca. 1490Re-creation: Holly Button and Pam Cyphert
Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893
Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893Re-creation: @wanderwithnada

The paperback edition (also available as an e-book) goes on sale September 22 for $14. And all profits will go to Artist Relief, which has been offering emergency grants to artists around the country.

Getty Publications supplied us with an early look at the book, and after scanning through it we were reminded just how cleverly so many of these submissions captured the sheer boredom of our stay-at-home lives—and the luxury status of toilet paper and flour.

Alonso Sánchez Coello, Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli, 16th century
Alonso Sánchez Coello, Ana de Mendoza de la Cerda, Princess of Éboli, 16th centuryRe-creation: Laura Belconde
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Pandora, 1879
Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Pandora, 1879Re-creation: Isabella Beatrix Thompson / @Bellatrix94
Raphael, Sistine Madonna (detail), 1512
Raphael, Sistine Madonna (detail), 1512Re-creation: Allene Poole
Kitagawa Utamaro, Hairdresser (Kamiyui), ca. 1797–98
Kitagawa Utamaro, Hairdresser (Kamiyui), ca. 1797–98Re-creation: Makya Jackson

It also has some staggeringly polished portraits and still lifes that put our unrefined selfies to shame.

Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665
Johannes Vermeer, Girl with a Pearl Earring, ca. 1665Re-creation: Jenny Boot
Unknown Artist, The Paston Treasure, 1663
Unknown Artist, The Paston Treasure, 1663Re-creation: Peter Brathwaite

The book is broken up into categories like “Home, Sweet Home,” “Strike a Pose,” “Culinary Arts” and “Child’s Play.” But by far our favorite is the “Creature Comfort” section—or really any re-creation that uses adorable animals.

Edwin Landseer, The Monarch of the Glen, ca. 1851
Edwin Landseer, The Monarch of the Glen, ca. 1851Re-creation: Fiona Elizabeth Griffin
Édouard Manet, Jeanne (Spring), 1881
Édouard Manet, Jeanne (Spring), 1881Re-creation: Jeannette Hulick
Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Creation of Adam, ca. 1508–12
Michelangelo Buonarroti, The Creation of Adam, ca. 1508–12Re-creation: George Anthony Galdamez

The Getty’s Sarah Waldorf and Annelisa Stephan, who launched the social media challenge following a similar one from Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, write in the book’s preface that Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, Vermeer’s Girl With a Pearl Earring, Grant Wood’s American Gothic and Munch’s The Scream were particularly popular inspirations. That popularity was largely responsible for the project’s jump from social media to book. The challenge launched on March 25, and barely a week later, a staff designer had already pitched assembling the best entries into a book. A typical Getty Publications book takes 18 to 24 months to produce, but this one came together much quicker: The concept was approved in late April and the first copies are due in their warehouse in early August, with copies set to be on shelves in September.

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