During the COVID-19 quarantine, we all went a little crazy. Being cooped up at home with nowhere to go caused everyone to get a little creative. And those who already had creative minds found even more unique ways to keep themselves entertained. For artist Eliza Reinhardt and her Australian Shepherd Finn, their quarantine hobby soon became a part of their everyday routine!
Reinhardt and Finn remake famous paintings using the items they have at home. It started as a response to a social media trend, but they quickly found joy in this unique art style. Now, they’re known for their silly recreations.
A Viral Challenge
When quarantine started, the “Getty Museum Challenge” was trending. It encouraged art lovers around the world to recreate famous pieces only with the items around their homes. Reinhardt decided it could be a great way to fight her boredom for the day.
The first piece Reinhardt and Finn recreated was Lady with a Dog by Mather Brown. She took it very literally, as it was just an image of a woman posing with her dog. Finding the necessary subjects and supplies wasn’t a challenge. She later admitted that she took it way too seriously, not considering that she could make her interpretation funnier.
“Lady with a Dog is so simple. I remember I went to The MET online collection and searched for “dog painting” because Finn is a dog, he can only be a dog in the recreation. That didn’t last long as I started to question it…why can’t Finn be a person? A bird? A vase? He can be anything! I think once I got out of the mindset that Finn had to be a dog, things really took off,” said Reinhardt.
From there, Reinhardt decided to keep recreating masterpieces. But each time, she tried to add a little more originality to her photos.
Before long, Reinhardt was creating a new picture every day. It ended up being a long-term activity and not just a quarantine hobby to pass the time. She gets up every morning excited to create. In fact, she said Finn loves it just as much as she does.
“Finn is a superstar! He’s a 3-year-old Australian Shepherd and a velcro dog. I thought that when we started this project, he would enjoy helping out and doing something with me, but I never expected he would take it as seriously as he does. He’s a working breed, so he has 110% taken these daily photos as his job. He will work so hard and try to do absolutely anything I ask,” said Reinhardt.
Reinhardt said that Finn’s costumes also make him feel comfortable because he’s an anxious dog. He gets excited to put on an outfit and he looks forward to being included. Of course, he gets lots of treats along the way too.
The duo has created hundreds of images by now, including Starry Night by Van Gogh, Guernica by Picasso, and Mural by Pollock. The internet has fallen in love with their silly project.
Finding Joy in Life
As you can imagine, these pieces are a lot of work! Reinhardt says she spends about four to six hours on each image. On days with a more complex design, it could take as long as 10 hours. She tries to do as much as she can with just herself and Finn, but sometimes her partner helps her capture the final image.
It might sound like a lengthy and tedious process, but Reinhardt has found a lot of joy in it. She wakes up looking forward to what she’ll create.
But Reinhardt wasn’t always the creative type. She didn’t take art classes until she was 18 and suffered a brain injury, which caused severe memory loss. She picked up drawing since she couldn’t remember the other subjects she’d learned. From there, she was introduced to the incredible world of art. This project has strengthened her creative mind even further. She encourages everyone to have an open mind when it comes to creating new things.
“I was in such a slump at the beginning [of social distancing] because it was so unmotivating to sit in the studio. But I think stepping out of that box and trying something that I’ve never done and something that is not serious, that’s funny and doesn’t have to be hung on a gallery wall, is great,” said Reinhardt. “Just make something that makes you giggle. As long as you have fun doing it, then everyone else will enjoy it.”
What started out as just a fun experience has now become a major part of Reinhardt’s life. And it wouldn’t be possible without her loyal canine by her side. She’s unsure how long she will continue this project, but it doesn’t look like these two will be stopping anytime soon.
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