Photographer Creates Stunning Realistic Portraits That Recreate Surreal Scenes from Hieronymus Bosch Paintings

All images cour­tesy of Lori Pond

It is not often not­ed that the sur­re­al­ist move­ment in the 1920s orig­i­nat­ed with poets like Paul Élu­ard and André Bre­ton, him­self a trained psy­chol­o­gist, who drew explic­it­ly from the work of Sig­mund Freud, “the pri­vate world of the mind,” as the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art puts it. And yet we cer­tain­ly see the influ­ence of Freudi­an poet­ry in the work of Gior­gio de Chiri­co, Mar­cel Duchamp, Sal­vador Dalí, Joan Miró, and Man Ray. We also see it, inex­plic­a­bly, in the work of Hierony­mus Bosch, that 15th cen­tu­ry Dutch painter of bizarre works like The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights, a trip­tych that becomes expo­nen­tial­ly more night­mar­ish as one scans across it from left to right. (Take a vir­tu­al tour of the paint­ing here), and from which pho­tog­ra­ph­er Lori Pond draws in the aston­ish­ing pho­tographs you see here.

How does such a far­away fig­ure as Bosch, whom we know so lit­tle about, seem to com­mu­ni­cate so close­ly with our epoch’s artis­tic move­ments? The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights, writes Stephen Hold­en at the New York Times, “out­strips in bold­ness many of the extreme dig­i­tal fan­tasies in Hol­ly­wood hor­ror films.” Bosch’s incred­i­bly detailed paint­ings “feel star­tling­ly con­tem­po­rary.… Repro­duc­tions of his paint­ings have adorned rock album cov­ers, been par­o­died on The Simp­sons and print­ed on silk bodices designed by Alexan­der McQueen.” And he was, in fact, named “Trendi­est Apoc­a­lyp­tic Medieval Painter of 2014.”

We might well won­der what Bosch would have done with the same tech­nolo­gies as those who now pay him trib­ute. Per­haps some­thing very much like Pond has with her Bosch Redux series, a col­lec­tion of pho­tographs of very close-up details in sev­er­al of Bosch’s paint­ings, fea­tur­ing one or two char­ac­ters. To make these pho­tos, writes Alyssa Cop­pel­man at Adobe’s Cre­ate blog, Pond “bought props online, in antique stores, and at swap meets, and friends donat­ed her old Hal­loween cos­tumes.” She hired a pros­thet­ics design­er and her “taxi­dermy teacher.” For pho­tos like that above from the cen­tral pan­el of the trip­tych, Pond even hired a set builder to cre­ate a life-sized boat that could fit the two real-life mod­els.

Many of these effects might have been accom­plished by ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry sur­re­al­ists, and indeed, when these details from Bosch’s work are ampli­fied they resem­ble noth­ing so much as those psy­cho­an­a­lyt­ic mod­ernists. But Pond admits, “I ful­ly abide by the max­im, ‘A pho­to­graph isn’t a pho­to­graph until it goes through Pho­to­shop.’” She makes the usu­al adjust­ments, adds fil­ters and effects, then employs “tex­tures, back­grounds, and oth­er small details from the orig­i­nal paint­ings,” mak­ing Bosch a col­lab­o­ra­tor in these close-up remix­es, which come from The Last Judg­ment, The Temp­ta­tion of St. Antho­ny, and The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights, of course—the paint­ing that first gave her the inspi­ra­tion when Pond saw it at the Pra­do in Madrid. You can see many more exam­ples of the series at Pond’s web­site, six­teen sur­re­al­ly apoc­a­lyp­tic visions in all.

via Dan­ger­ous Minds

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Take a Vir­tu­al Tour of Hierony­mus Bosch’s Bewil­der­ing Mas­ter­piece The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights

New App Lets You Explore Hierony­mus Bosch’s “The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights” in Vir­tu­al Real­i­ty

Lis­ten to a Record­ing of a Song Writ­ten on a Man’s Butt in a 15-Cen­tu­ry Hierony­mus Bosch Paint­ing

Hierony­mus Bosch’s Medieval Paint­ing, The Gar­den of Earth­ly Delights, Comes to Life in a Gigan­tic, Mod­ern Ani­ma­tion 

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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