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The Real Mona Lisa

   by Greg Barnes for Re-Invent a Work of Art (2013)

Inspiration Piece: Mona Lisa

Inspiration Artist: Leonardi Da Vinci

I started my project by cutting up the box that the materials were shipped in, then gluing pieces together. Once a "room" was together I primed it with gesso, then used an airbrush to paint it red and then I used a paint pen to draw on lines to create a brick appearance. I then took the plastic bag and cut 2 pieces out and glued them to the outside of the box to make windows and I framed the windows using the oak plywood.

Next I took the thin sheets of wood and cut them into strips using my dremel tool with a saw-blade attachment. I then cut the strips into pieces and glued them into place to make a literal hardwood floor. Following this I started to make a fireplace out of the foam pieces, but it quickly became clear that it was not going to work so I removed it. After which I cut up the canvas board and then glued it together with hot glue. Once that was done I coated it with clay and then shaped it with some carving tools to give it a rock look. Once I was satisfied with the shapes I airbrushed the stones gray, then used a toothbrush to splatter a few other shades of paint to add to the stone effect, then I glued it in place using the hot glue.

Next up I made a book shelf out of the solid oak by running it through a table saw multiple times, then cutting it down with my dremel and gluing it together with the white glue. The chaise lounge is made of 2 pieces of oak covered with some raw canvas, then stuffed with shredded paper. Once it was stuffed full I glued the remainder of the canvas to the wood and then painted it a sultry red to showcase the reclining Lisa. The last component made from sheets of oak was the work table in the back corner. The legs were shaped using a jig saw, then ground smooth with the dremel. There is also a 3 legged stool made of dowels and oak plywood for Da Vinci to sit on.

For Leonardo's other art I painted the Last Supper (though much smaller by scale than the real thing) as well as the Vetruvian Man, a self portrait, a design for a parachute, a design for a helicopter and of course the Mona Lisa which resides on the easel (which is also made from cut pieces of oak). To make the books I took the paper shreds, put them in a blender with water then mixed them with the Elmer's glue and formed it into a block shape. Once it was dry I sliced them thin using a bread knife, then painted the covers and wrote the titles on using liquid acrylic paint.

For the skeleton I took the wire and twisted and shaped it so that it would all be one continuous unbroken piece of wire. Once that was done I airbrushed it white. I then built the parachute out of canvas and used wire inside to make the square frame. After which I unraveled some of the rope and used it to hang the weight on the parachute. I also used unraveled rope to hang the skeleton and the parachute from the ceiling.

In the fireplace there are "logs" made of broken dowels that have been burned down with a candle. Additionally I crafted the 5 burning candles in the piece out of the pellets, then heated a wire and pushed it in while hot to make the "wick", after which I added sculpey and painted it yellow for the flame.

For both figures I created armatures out of wire to get the size & poses right. Then I coated the wire with Chavant and sculpted it into their likenesses. Then they were painted with acrylics. On Da Vinci I added Sculpey as hair, then put a paintbrush made of wire and sculpey in his hand, and a palette made of the canvas board in the other hand.

My idea behind this was that Mona Lisa wasn't quite what everyone thought. She has a lit cigar in her right hand, a bottle of XX alcohol in the right hand and she's only draped in some silky cloth while reclining in a decidedly UN-ladylike pose. Meanwhile Da Vinci is wearing plain green studio clothes that have no frills, but are of course nice and comfy. In his studio are books on various subjects (translated into English for the purpose of this contest). It's a true testament to his ability that he was able to see the TRUE character of his subject and put that on canvas for future generations to admire.

My idea behind this was that Mona Lisa wasn't quite what everyone thought. She has a lit cigar in her right hand, a bottle of XX alcohol in the right hand and she's only draped in some silky cloth while reclining in a decidedly UN-ladylike pose. Meanwhile Da Vinci is wearing plain green studio clothes that have no frills, but are of course nice and comfy. In his studio are books on various subjects (translated into English for the purpose of this contest). It's a true testament to his ability that he was able to see the TRUE character of his subject and put that on canvas for future generations to admire.

 


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