Art Insider April 14: Recreating famous art at home, photo fundraiser for hospital supplies

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Across the world, people are using whatever materials they can find at home to recreate renowned artworks. A NY-based photo fundraiser is trying to provide medical supplies to one of the hardest-hit hospitals in the United States. And grants for artists and institutions are helping sustain creative workers.

Across the world, people are recreating famous artworks from home

The Astronomer , 1668, Johannes Vermeer. Oil on canvas, 19.6 in. x 17.7 in. Musée du Louvre, Paris. Image: Wikimedia Commons . Recreation on Twitter and via Facebook direct message by Ann Zumhagen-Krause and her husband with tray table, blanket, and globe.

The internet has been swept by the challenge to recreate a famous artwork from home. Across the world, backpacks and sweatshirts are arranged to make Rothkos, and costumes are fashioned from old jewelry, doilies, and draped bed sheets. Frida Khalo’s unibrows are being donned. Children sport beards made of dripping succulents. 

Each shot is posed to recreate famous paintings ranging from Early Renaissance to Art Nouveau to Surrealism. 

As a hot commodity these days, toilet paper features heavily across these recreations. They’re used to create necklaces, puffy clouds, or even breasts. 

One Instagram account, @tussenkunstenquarentine , has been posting at-home creations since mid-March, and recently The Getty challenged people to dig into its collection to recreate works from home. 

Artists rally to fundraise for one of NY’s hardest-hit hospitals

Adam Kremer,
Still Life with Empty Perfume for Helen (2020). Image courtesy of the artist and Pictures for Elmhurst.

According to The Guardian , “New York is the center of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, and Elmhurst hospital in the ... borough of Queens is the center of the center.” 

A new fundraising organization has found an innovative way to directly support the hospital staff working on the frontlines. The project, called Pictures for Elmhurst , is using art sales to raise funds for essential medical supplies like ventilators, masks, and goggles. 

The website features 96 photographers, who have each contributed a piece. Each print, which will be reproduced at a modest scale of 8.5 x 11 inches, is being sold for $150 and will be printed in an open edition (meaning the prints can be reproduced for as long as the fundraiser runs). The fundraiser continues through April 20, and provides a unique model for how creatives can engage the public to directly support those on the frontlines.

Check out the photographs

Grants for artists and art institutions

Entrance to the Getty Center (2016). Credit: Thaddeus Zajdowicz.

Last week, The Getty announced a $10 million fund that will be distributed as grants to LA-based art nonprofits. I talked to Steve Chiotakis — of KCRW’s Greater LA — about how the grant will be distributed, and who it might benefit. 

A newly announced grant called The Artist Relief Fund is offering another $10 million to individual artists. 

We also discuss why artists are often without the safety nets of those working in other fields, and how you can get involved in supporting individual artists. 

Listen here

Make a necklace inspired by Mark Bradford 

Mark Bradford craft. Image courtesy of The Broad.

Every Friday morning, in its new #TheBroadFromHome series, The Broad has been releasing a new at-home project inspired by an artist in its collection.

This craft is inspired by Mark Bradford , who uses layered paper and billboard signage in his work. Bradford layers paper, and sands it down to create a textured surface that reveals layers underneath while creating dynamic and dimensional surfaces. For this project, use Bradford’s technique to create a textured necklace.


  1. Gather your materials: paper (newspaper, magazines, wrapping paper, tissue, etc), cardboard, scissors, yarn or string, glue stick, hole punch, sandpaper (optional).
  2. Cut the cardboard into a square that is roughly 3 inches. 
  3. Cut or rip your pieces of paper to create unique shapes. Cut out words or textures that appeal to you. You can even crumple pieces of paper into a ball.
  4. Use the glue stick to glue down pieces of your paper, arranging shapes and patterns to create a composition. You can layer pieces on top of each other. 
  5. Use your sandpaper to sand over the surface of your collage. This will give the work a distressed look, and allow layers underneath to show through.  
  6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as you want to create a textured surface. 
  7. Punch a hole in one of the corners, string your yarn through the hole, and tie off to your desired length.
  8. Wear your necklace! 

Watch the instruction video here