John Seed’s Mashterpieces


John Seed is a painter, writer, curator and  professor of art and art history at Mt. San Jacinto College in Southern California. He’s also pretty handy with Photoshop. He has written for the likes of Arts of Asia, Art Ltd., Catamaran, Harvard Magazine, International Artist, Hyperallergic and Poets and Artists, Huffington Post and Hyperallergic.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting John Seed at the opening reception for his Mashterpieces on exhibit through May 15 at the Stanford Art Spaces, second floor of the Paul Allen Building Annex until May 12.

DeWitt Cheng, curator of Stanford Art Spaces with John Seed in front of a wall of playful and witty mashups from art history and contemporary times. These pieces were  skillfully created by combining Wikipedia common use images of art with those from contemporary news resulting in digitally manipulated photographs that are at once familiar and strange, amusing and unsettling. Notice how the light sources all line up and all the transitions are seamless! I like the way the artist refers to the mashups as “parlor games” which I think is so true, a kind of high minded amusement of guessing the artist, the painting and then decoding how it all reflects on the contemporary subjects that are inserted into these worlds. The more versed one is in their art history and current events – the more pleasure one gleans from the game.

Édouard Manet – A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (with Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders)

Giotto – St. Francis Preaching to the Birds (with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton)

The piece of Bernie preaching to the birds is a more recent work which is not included in the exhibit, but it’s go good,  just wanted to share it.

Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio) – The Sacrifice of Issac (with Carly Fiorina, Dr. Ben Carson and Donald Trump)

John Singleton Copley – Paul Revere (replaced by Jeb Bush with his gun)

Michelangelo Merisi (Caravaggio) – The Lute Player (with Marco Rubio)

Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) – Portrait of a Young Man (with Ted Cruz)

Rembrandt – Bearded Man (with Headphones)

Jean-Léon Gérôme  – Diogenes (with Ai Weiwei)

This is my personal favorite. I find the portrait of the artist banished to live on the fringe of society, living in moral protest quite moving and how befitting is it that Ai Weiwei would be  living in a pot!

With the Primaries raging I couldn’t resist a Hillary and Bernie T! If you’re interested, T-shirts and prints of John Seed’s work can be ordered here on Zazzle.

All photographs of John Seed’s Mashterpieces published here, courtesy of the artist.