The Selfie Mona Lisa

Last week a job with a tight deadline came through from Toronto. It was for an ad agency who wanted three different quirky versions of the da Vinci's Mona Lisa. So three artists were assigned one each. I haven't seen the others but I'd love to; it was such an enjoyable project.

So here's my version, 'The Selfie Mona Lisa'. I had my daughter hold a phone and pout in position for a reference photograph; I also found some very good photos of the original on line.

There's also an Isleworth Mona Lisa, which it's believed, da Vinci painted before he made the famous one with the enigmatic smile. This is the Mona Lisa that Raphael drew while studying under da Vinci. For my Selfie Mona Lisa, obviously I had to  parody the most famous, later painting.

That's where I went to school, by the way; Isleworth. And incidentally, Van Gogh also taught in a previous incarnation of my secondary school. He taught Maths and religion, apparently. Famous place, Isleworth...

So, in true old master form, I painted a brunaille and glazed it with colour. All in acrylics, mind; in order to give it something of the appearance of the original. Da Vinci''s painting took something like three years to complete. Perhaps that's why da Vinci didn't get the job; ad agencies are sooo pressed for time. And he doesn't return calls.

A colour hand-painted advertising  illustration in acrylics on paper of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa taking a selfie.
A colour hand-painted advertising  illustration in acrylics on paper of Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa taking a selfie.

Agency: John St. Advertising. Creative Director: Rick Mayzis. Client: innoviCares Medical.


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