“Monumental Nobodies” is a series of artwork by Australian artist Matthew Quick which add a modern, somewhat evil twist to famous classic sculptures. From beautiful Madonnas listening to their iPhone and wearing a pair of Beats by Dre, to Medusas with jelly in their hair and the lion that guards the Hofburg Palace in Vienna wearing a Mickey Mouse patch on its mane, all these oil paintings tell the tale of our modern world and the obsessions of the day.
The pop culture and modern gadgetry seem to complete these classical figures like Napoleon or George Washington in a very funny and a little worrying way.
Matthew got the idea for this incredible powerful series of artwork from history. He noticed that art was always persecuted by history for various ideological reasons. From the Nazi’s burning of books, to the destruction of iconic buildings and tearing down statues, art, as a manifestation of a culture, a time and a way of thinking, has always suffered at the hands of the ever-shifting ideologies of our history. Since history has vandalised art, so does he in his painting:
“From the people who build monuments in the first place, to those who destroy them… there is a thread running through all: the universal connection is about leaving a mark. They are all trying to say: Here I am. I have existed”
He builds a certain context to his works that will leave you feeling funny. For example, he described a picture of a Greek Goddess wearing a swimsuit by building a context to it:
“Facebook stopped distributing the painting Domestic Goddess because it shows a stone nipple. Now let’s remember that the original 1705 sculpture on which the painting is based, Giuseppe Mazzuoli’s A Nereid, is in Washington’s National Gallery of Art and has been seen by hundreds of thousands of visitors”