Every time I see another mention of a well-meaning citizen who took it upon themselves to try to restore a 1,000 year-old piece of art back to its shiny fresh origins, I feel equal parts horrified and giggly.
The (re)finished piece is always cartoonishly hilarious, the piece of art becomes famous, and I imagine the person who did it in wide-eyed confusion that anyone would be upset with them.
I started to think about what it would be like to grab a paint brush and tub of acrylics, head out to the Art Institute for the day and see what I could make prettier!
In lieu of vandalizing multi-million dollar masterpieces, here is a way we can all collab with Van Gogh or the ancient Greeks without being thrown in the clink for our efforts.
I’ve compiled a group of visual masterpieces and religious relics for you to either: print out and paint or draw all over, or import into the graphic editor of your choice and restore them back to their original glory. Whatever you perceive that to be.
Watch a real conservator at work if you need some help getting into your role:
It wouldn’t be fair of me to leave out viral sensation, “Monkey Jesus”, aka Ecco Homo, painted by Elias Garcia Martinez, and then made much more hilarious by Cecilia Gimenez in 2012.
Below is the original for you to download, and below that is the makeover of the painting. You can proudly wear the Cecilia Gimenez version on a t-shirt by Nerdist here.
He obviously forgot to draw the rest of himself, so we should help.
Aphrodite lost her head and arms, poor dear.
This obviously needs livening up so it doesn’t look so somber.
Here are some of my experiments, made entirely in PicMonkey, for your inspiration.
If you’d like more inspiration, check out these art restoration fails.