The reinterpretation of art history’s old master works is something that occupies many contemporary artists. Some values remain, while others change over the centuries; therefore, producing work which is modeled on the old masters can offer the spectator a way to reflect on how values have changed and how we see differently.
Zdenek Sindelar, a.k.a. CuriousZed is a fine art photographer based in the Netherlands, and part of his work examines the past and present through the old masters.
In the Passion of St. Sidonius, Zdenek creates an image after Caravaggio’s St Jerome, but substituting another saint from the Roman Catholic pantheon. St Sidonius was a Gallo-Roman poet, writer and bishop whose writings are of important historical value. Here, he is depicted at work, but with modern literature in front of him and his right hand clasping a cellular phone. Replacing the iconic skull artistically associated with St Jerome is a woman’s high-heeled shoe. The artist is perhaps making an ironic statement about modern living – if St Sidonius were alive today, might he also succumb to social media addiction and the excessive visual pleasures of modern life?
In Desolation, we see what at first glance appears to be a classical still life. Yet, aside from a dandelion, there are no organic items like fruit, game meat or flowers. Instead, we see dissected computer panels, motherboards and wires emerging as flashes of color from the darkness of the environment. While traditional still life sought to comment on life’s pleasures or on mortality, Zdenek comments on contemporary chaos that hides beneath the smooth-looking surface.
In another still life, The Supper, we see a more traditional still life with various assorted vegetables displayed on the bedecked table and a vase of tulips – except, a dog perches expectantly with some material wrapped around its neck. By applying humor to a traditional, serious motif, what does the artist intend to say? Perhaps there is no message; yet, the picture is beautiful.
Although some of CuriousZed’s work may seem strange, it is nevertheless a collectable offering of pleasing images. The artist employs dramatic lighting, rich color and strong composition. He makes a respectful nod to the old masters, yet offers his unique view on contemporary living.
Visit the website of Zdenek Sindelar: http://www.curiouszed.com
Have a beautiful day!