Gods like Us

When looking at Caeser van Everdingen’s Nymph’s offering the Young Bacchus Wine, Fruit, and Flowers” I see a clear example of late renaissance era artwork and not much else. I mean yea the painting is magnificent but what I attain from this painting is nothing as exciting as what Alexey Kondakov saw and was inspired to create. This painting gave Alexey the idea to create a collection of work entitled “The Daily Lives of Gods.” In this series he digitally mashes up the subjects from renaissance paintings and edits them into a modern urban backdrop. The result is outstanding and gives us a real connection to renaissance art previously not attained. Alexey takes the uncommon, un-relatable “heroes”, as he calls the subjects of the paintings, and puts them into situations and scenes we relate to and understand. He changes the renaissance paintings into something we recognize, something we connect too, and uses modern scenes to help us feel the mood that was set in the original paintings. The primary source, “Nymph’s offering the Young Bacchus Wine, Fruit, and Flowers,” shows a scene we are actually very familiar with. Three women are offering a man, perhaps a visitor, comforts while he stays with them. Not all too different from what hosts do to visitors today. Alexey was able to see this connection, see that the world has not changed all that much, and present that knowledge to us in a way we understand. By putting renaissance heroes in scenes we would expect to see ourselves, the connection is clear. As a Minnesotan our interest is clear, we too can connect with these paintings and to the people of the renaissance themselves. The most interesting aspect of this series to me is showing that human nature doesn’t change all that much. Alexey’s project clearly shows how we are actually incredibly similar to our renaissance ancestors, fashion and scenery has changed but mood and meaning is not lost from the original painting to the modern digital project.  


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