News

Express Your Feelings with Emoji Characters from Old Master Paintings

If you can’t say it with words, you can now say it with expressions from Old Masters paintings.

Molly Young and Teddy Blanks' "Rejoinders" in action (all screenshots courtesy the artists)
Molly Young and Teddy Blanks’ “Rejoinders” in action (all screenshots courtesy the artists)

If you can’t say it with words, you can now say it with expressions from Old Masters paintings.

A new digital sticker pack for all your texting needs has arrived, designed by artist Molly Young and designer Teddy Blanks. It features 40 stickers drawn from all types of faces in paintings that date largely to the late 15th or 16th centuries, rendered by “mostly b-team” artists, as Young told Hyperallergic. This historic squad includes Dutch Renaissance painters Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen and Jan Mandijn, Northen Netherlandish artist Jacob Cornelisz van Oostsanen, the German Bernhard Strigel, and Hans Baldung-Grien, who studied under Albrecht Dürer. (There is a Rembrandt, though, and considering his scope of portraits, one is probably all you need.)

"Rejoinders" sticker pack of expressions from Old Master paintings
“Rejoinders” sticker pack of expressions from Old Master paintings

With their stylized faces, figures in works of this era can come across as particularly comical, even given the most intentionally stern or saddest of expressions. Among the offerings of miens ready for your deploy, are, in the words of Young and Blanks, an “impish grin,” a “pasty leer,” a “vexed glare,” a “pensive grimace,” and a “gaping maw.” For just 99 cents — purchasable in Apple’s app store for iOS devices only — the pack of mugs is a pretty sweet deal. Plus, the offerings are pretty diverse (considering the works were rendered by a bunch of white men), featuring a cast of all ages, genders, and backgrounds.

“We think of these as emojis for adults,” Young said. “Even for a relatively nonexpressive person, emojis can feel like an impoverished form of communication. So bland! So one-note. Rejoinders are punishingly specific, which in turn makes them surprisingly universal.”

Sorry, Cindy Sherman! Your emojis are so last year now.

rejoinders-screenshots-1
Molly Young and Teddy Blanks’ “Rejoinders” in action
rejoinders-screenshots-3
Molly Young and Teddy Blanks’ “Rejoinders” in action
rejoinders-screenshots-4
Molly Young and Teddy Blanks’ “Rejoinders” in action

h/t Artnet News

comments (0)