If context is critical to understanding art, then what happens to a work when you push a famous piece through time and space to a highly familiar and everyday place? Where fine artwork meets street scenes, strange and beautiful things begin to happen.
In a series called Art History in Contemporary Life, Ukrainian artist Alexey Kondakov elaborately relocates key figures from their historical canvasses into jarringly mundane settings, putting classical art in modern contexts. The results are seamless and convincing – one could almost imagine rehanging the hybrid works back up in museums.
Madonna, child and a chorus of angels are suddenly found sitting in a dirty subway car, cherubs flutter below a shanty overhang and a half-naked hand harp player spins tunes for pennies for commuting pedestrians. Famous figures share drinks at a modern dive while lovers kiss on a darkened subway car.