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The Mona Lisa Project
by Val Patterson
I am an avid admirer of Leonardo Da Vinci and his masterpiece, The Mona Lisa: the most recognized, referenced and iconic painting in the world. I spent two years creating photo shoots with my friends and contemporary artists, dressing them up in costume as famous female figures while positioning them in the triangular Mona Lisa pose. I selected my favorite characters from fairy tales, cartoons, music, movies, television, history and politics, and captured them with the same mysterious Mona Lisa smile. The result is a typology series of formally posed portraits, shot against single toned backgrounds, with a simple yet vividly saturated color palette in each image. Inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci, Andy Warhol and various female icons, The Mona Lisa Project is my photographic tribute to the most famous painting in the world. I have had a lifelong fascination with the Mona Lisa and wanted to explore the pose, composition, and the iconic expression through photography, humor and history -- and in a sense, bring that enigmatic smile into the twenty first century for new generations to discover.
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