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The quarantine diaries: When life imitates art

By Don-Alvin Adegeest


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Bored of social distancing and reading about Covid-19? The Getty Museum has launched a social media challenge for the WFH brigade to stay actively cultured, whilst remaining in isolation.

Inspired by Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum initiative, @tussenkunstenquarantaine, the Getty Museum challenges its followers to recreate a work of art from the institute’s archives using materials from your home and household, and to post it on social media with the hashtag #betweenartandquarantine. The real challenge is to use just three items, be it edibles, your child or pet, or something hidden away in your storage cupboard.

Ordinary life is on hold

As most museums have all but closed to the public, ordinary life seems to be on hold for the majority of people. “If art imitates life, then it’s time to imitate art,” wrote art publication Art & Object. Such is the idea behind the Los Angeles-based Getty Museum challenge. Meanwhile, in The Netherlands, the Instagram account @tussenkunstenquarantaine quickly amassed over 100,000 followers.

Fashion ingenues

Industrious culture-philes have recreated artworks spanning centuries, from Rembrandt and Van Gogh’s to contemporary photography. Recreating the looks requires much ingenue, from toilet paper replacing a headdress, sheets that become dresses, buckets transformed into hats.

During quarantine, folks have ample time to be creative, suggests Getty’s social media lead, Sarah Waldorf. Ms Waldorf told Yahoo Lifestyle that the museum’s direct messages have been “flooded” ever since with hilarious re-creations.

“Our audience told us loud and clear that they wanted to see beautiful artworks, learn more about art from home, and find delight on social media,” Waldorf says of the museum’s decision to engage with its community in some way. “We wanted to offer up a creative challenge to find refuge from the uncertain state of the world and to spark excitement to get creative — no extra materials required.”

Images via Instagram #betweenartandquarantine