Typewriter artist recreates famous paintings and portraits of cultural figures


n artist who has used a typewriter to recreate famous paintings and portraits of cultural figures has said he did it to show that “some technologies will never die” amid uncertainty surrounding social media platforms within the digital age.

James Cook, 26, who splits his time between Braintree, Essex and his studio at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf, lately accomplished a collection of seven typewritten items of artwork, primarily based off of famous paintings and portraits of artists together with Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

He told the PA news company that one of the primary causes behind the mission was to spotlight the fact that “some technologies will never die”.

“Fundamentally, what really got me going to start this project was that I wanted to create a series of artworks to prove that some technologies will never die”, he said.

“And I wanted people to realise the potential of typewriters, almost in an age where people are sort of departing from social media sites.

“The project concluded with the Van Gogh self-portrait, just as people were in the process of saying their last farewells to Twitter and everyone was using that hashtag Twitter shutdown, and my contribution to that was the Van Gogh picture, which got over 3000 likes.”

Since Elon Musk purchased Twitter, the platform has undergone a collection of adjustments together with a brand new deliberate mannequin for the way individuals are verified, with many workers members being fired too.

Mr Cook added that his first portray paid respect to this “inspiration” Paul Smith, who he referred to because the “origin story” of typewriter artwork and who made a typewritten model of the Mona Lisa.

“I wanted to celebrate his legacy to this unique art form by making my own version of that – that picture that I first saw – but then I thought, well actually, it would be a shame to just stop there,” he said.

Wanting to go a step additional in his efforts to pay homage to Mr Smith, Mr Cook turned to his assortment of 50 typewriters to strive and discover one that may enable him to “have a connection” with the unique piece.

He discovered one which was made in 1921 – the year Mr Smith was born.

Further famous paintings took a typed type from late September of this year onwards, with Mr Cook making an attempt his greatest to embed “Easter eggs” into his paintings, to make them much more distinctive.

“Around the time I started the project, we had Liz Truss as prime minster”, he said.

“One thing I like to do is kind of conceal current affairs in all my drawings and at that point of time, I was working on American Gothic.

“On the last day that I worked on that drawing, Liz Truss resigned from office and so of course, I thought had to include that in the drawing.

“You have just got to know where to look to see where all these hidden messages lie.”

He added that some paintings to be extra “tricky” than others to recreate.

“The Van Gogh self-portrait took four attempts because if you look at his paintings, they are just dabbles of paint”, he said.

“And I initially thought, do I just type an oval shape and type lots of different oval shapes to make this face and I thought, no I can’t do that.”

American Gothic – being the most important within the assortment – additionally offered sure challenges, because it took twice as lengthy to kind because it included two individuals.

However, it was price it for the “really nice” feedback and engagement together with his posts.

lot of people who remark have a tendency to be of their 40s or older as a result of they will doubtlessly bear in mind after they would have taken typing courses.

“Most people still don’t even believe art on a typewriter is even possible”, he said.

“A lot of people that comment tend to be in their 40s or older because they will potentially remember when they would have taken typing classes.

“And one of the most frequent comments that I get is people who say – ‘I used to take typing classes in the 60s and one of the tasks that they used to get us to do was to make a drawing, but it would be something so basic like a stickman, but they never thought it would be possible to do something like this.”

More information about Mr Cook’s work might be discovered on his web site: https://jamescookartwork.com/


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