Students in grades 7 and 8 started the year in visual art by connecting with their more fantastical side - or alter ego. Many students’ pictures include popular characters from movies, video games, famous paintings, music cd covers, and other pop icons. In the artworld, this is called Visual Culture. 

It is particularly fascinating when artists reference other works of art and imagery, which we would call appropriation from the past into a new contemporary context. This re-use of past stories, icons, and imagery is studied by many academic fields. We love it for many reasons - it makes us laugh and perhaps not take things excessively seriously as in this cross mixing of eras and styles as shown here. Or as in Andy Warhol’s soup cans and Duchamp’s urinal “fountain” which were an exaggeration of everyday objects - arguably not art - challenging our idea of what is art by moving into everyday visual culture. 

There are many ways the film and music industry reference visual culture with songs like Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust For Life’ about van Gogh’s life story based on the older movie from 1956 with Kirk Dounglas by the same name ‘Lust for Life’. And then that movie was based on the 1934 novel that coined the title by Irving Stone. I see Lana Del Rey has an album with this title from 2018, but it wouldn't be about van Gogh...

Here’s a more recent example of taking everybody’s  favorite new topic of ‘gluten free’ and humorously going back into art history and remaking all the art  gluten free as seen in The Gluten Free Museum collection.

Arthur Coulet is the French artist behind The Gluten-Free Museum


This is me as a dinosaur. It was me around 50 million years ago during the Triassic Era of Dinosaurs.


I put my face on the Mona Lisa and tried to fade it in.

Mohammed Ahen


I placed my head on the statue of liberty I tried using the madic tool to fix the fitting of my face on the statue.


Its me playing as a goalkeeper in football. The reason why I looked shocked and scared is because my opponent shot the ball at me and I am scared.




This is me as a Minecraft character.


This is me if I were a Minecraft character. My favorite one is the one in the middle.

Salma Hamad

This is a layered photo of my head on the original Mona Lisa (who had more color like this before restoration). This is personal to me since I went to France to see it a few years ago but something funny happened and we got to the museum but were unable to see it, at the time I was really interested in art, so 9 year old me became very sad and angry.


This is a cake setting, where I have added different decorations, including my head on top. I like baking and drawing so I decided to combine them by making this drawing. I also added the macaroons and a cupcake for a background affect.


I put my face on my favourite singer which is Ariana Grande.


Photoshopped my face onto Olaf’s body because he is my favorite character, I added a green background because I love being outdoors and I added butterflies because I love their colours.


This is a harpy, a greek and roman mythological creature. I decided to use a harpy for my artwork because one of the origins of my name comes from a roman story where Larunda (Lara) is struck speechless by Jupiter. Harpies used to be Jupiter’s helpers and the wings of the harpy also represent the freedom I have while reading (which I really like doing). I also painted the harpy’s feathers as if it were a “athene noctua”, the owl of the greek goddess of wisdom, Athena.


Looks just like the original.


I have made a different version of mickey mouse because I used to watch Mickey mouse a lot when I was a little.


My drawing is me being the nyan cat ;) i used to love this game when i was littler so it came to me when i thought of this task for some reason. One thing that i done wrong is made the drawing so small that now my face looks so small in it but its ok.

My name on the bottom spells out “chris” which is my nickname and its just the letters connected one to another.