Matthew Olin's 'Contextual Emoji Portraits' Project Adds Emoji To Famous Paintings, And It's Definitely Worth Seeing

We're all familiar with famous paintings like the Mona Lisa, Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanegawa, and The Creation of Adam — but recently, designer and artist Matthew Olin decided to put little spin on these famous paintings by adding emoji. He calls the resulting project Contextual Emoji Portraits, and it's kind of amazing. The emoji typically have the same expression as figure in the photo; similarly, if there's no person, the emoji usually fits the theme of whatever's going on in the image. They definitely spice up images with which we are already familiar.

Olin — who also designs flyers and pamphlets for brands and companies and has had his work featured in Wired, The Washington Post, and more — isn't the first artist to alter famous paintings like this. A lot of artists put contemporary twists on old paintings and other works by famous artists using techniques like photography, digital technology, and alternative materials. These re-imaginations have ranged from the simple, like famous paintings re-done to reflect modern life, to the absurd, like famous paintings infiltrated by Star Wars characters. Contextual Emoji Portraits is a new take on a trend that contemporary artists have been grappling with for a while.

Check out some of these emoji-paintings and take a look at Olin's Instagram for even more.

1. Emoji Mona Lisa

2. Emoji Son of Man

3. Emoji The Scream

4. Emoji American Gothic

5. Emoji The Creation of Adam

Images: oh_matt/Instagram (5)