Although it may seem impossible to make the masterpieces of art history more captivating than they already are, this is precisely the mission of artist Jake Hollomon with Kinetic Spirits, a series of works on view on Instagram through onegrandgallery. The project fuses artworks by the likes of Johannes Vermeer and Thomas Anshutz with mesmerizing 3D animations and hypnotic audio bytes.
These looping multimedia pieces bring movement to the paintings, sometimes adding onto pre-existing narratives and ideas in the works and in other instances departing completely from the paintings' original representations. Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow morphs from a sprawling landscape into the synchronized march of crystalloid vitrines in Holloman's Purity Procession. Frederic Edwin Church’s painting of the Parthenon ruins becomes momentarily reconstructed in Radius Ceiling thanks to Hollomon’s hovering geometric building blocks.
“My Kinetic Spirits series developed from a desire to interact with these untouchable masterpieces in a new way,” Hollomon tells The Creators Project. “I see these classic masters as the originators of virtual reality. My role is that of a time-travelling space invader, leaving behind impossible objects in the empty areas of the paintings.”
But there is something more concrete to Hollomon’s project than enacting the role of an alien time traveler. “An idea was sparked by the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, in which inventor Tim Jenison manages to reverse engineer a Vermeer painting through technology. This got me thinking about how I could further play with that link between art and tech,” the artist adds. “This impulse was facilitated by the fact that art institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands are making their massive collections available to the world through free digital downloads. My goal is to provide an example of how these iconic works can be reimagined, inspiring more museums to follow suit.”