Lauren Wade's lame copy (via takepart)

Lauren Wade’s lame copy of an old idea (via

There are days when I hate the internet, particularly when it recycles the same idea again and again and again as if it were original. The latest (and most egregious) culprit is Lauren Wade and her tired project that photoshops Old Masters until the figures resemble the proportions of contemporary fashion models. They’re taking the internet by storm, and wow, they’re amazing … except they’re really not.

What’s embarrassing for Wade is she didn’t bother to Google (I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt and assume she didn’t just swipe the idea with no credit) and find out how beginning in 2009 London-based artist Nazareno Crea did the same thing for her Alpha Beauties project, and many of the images she used are the exact same ones used by Wade:


Nazareno Crea appears to have been the first to do this, though it’s the internet so … (via

… and then in 2012 Anna Utopia Giordano did the exact same thing for her Venus project:

Anna Utopia Giordano's version is strangely very very similar and pre-dates Lauren Wade by years. (via )

Anna Utopia Giordano’s version is strangely very similar to Wade’s and predates it by years. (via

Can you even tell them apart? This kind of lazy regurgitation is a waste of pixels. Hell, I even used the joke in a GIF for the Metropolitan Museum’s Anna Wintour Fashion Institute’s announcement earlier this year:


If you’re going to take an idea then at least do something different, like Bence Hajdu’s abandoned masterpieces:


Or maybe pick other paintings?

And lest we forget, Old Masters with fat cats came first, and they’re better:


Oh, and don’t forget to share this post. Thanks.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

6 replies on “Tired Photoshop Idea: Old Masters Lose Weight”

  1. Thanks for pointing this out. Can we also talk about how it’s just a bad idea? These artists may be attempting to deconstruct modern norms of female beauty, but the results come off as misogynist and self-serving. I find the images reductive and destructive and I wish I could unsee all of them.

  2. Also it looks like the people who edited the photos didn’t realize that the artist of the second painting actually elongated the vertebrae of the woman to make her more attractive. And let’s not forget women back then also had blemishes, redness, and cellulite on their bodies and those weren’t shown in the painting.

    1. Indeed. Ingre’s turned her right ta-ta into a tennis ball wedged in her armpit. And her left leg simply could not join her hip, given the thigh’s angle.

  3. Yeah a lot of repetition on the internet. So what? If we’re going to review internet memes as real art, we have to give up on the (bogus) obsession with originality. Why waste the time to write/read about.

    1. You seem to consciously misread the post. It’s not about originality (that seems to be your obsession) but the lack of citation and the memory hole. Memory is important.

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