Isolation art: recreate masterworks with cabbage, lentils and socks

MOSCOW (Reuters) - While making blinis one morning in self-isolation, Natalia Goroshko noticed one in her pan had taken the floppy form of one of Salvador Dali’s melting clocks.

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The 31-year-old Belarusian living in Texas placed three blinis in her kitchen to match their position in the Dali painting, then photographed and posted her creation in a Russian-language Facebook group here encouraging members to reproduce famous artworks with items found at home.

Created last week, “Izoizolyacia” - or Art Isolation - now has more than 300,000 members and a flurry of posts that include Edvard Munch’s “Scream” made of slippers and clothes, and Kazimir Malevich’s “Black Square” composed of socks hanging from a towel rack.

Some participants have also dressed themselves and family members in elaborate costumes -- or shed layers -- to reproduce portraits of the past with varying degrees of accuracy.

“There is lots of free time now and I loved how people were starting to become absorbed by art,” said Goroshko, a mother of two who has a background in graphic design and photography.

The Russian-language Facebook group joins similar online initiatives, including a Dutch Instagram account with 155,000 followers, that have encouraged people in quarantine to channel their artistic talents to recreate masterpieces.

Muscovite Yulia Tabolkina, a painting enthusiast, swapped her brushes and palette for whatever she could find in the pantry to create her own versions of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” and Munch’s “Scream.”

She used lentils, buckwheat, beans and other food items to produce different shades and used her windowsill as a canvas.

“It really helps to keep morale up during these times because people are at home and it’s tough for them,” said the 33-year-old, who spent about an hour on each of her creations. “This group helps cheer them up.”

In the Ukrainian capital of Kiev, Olesia Marchenko recreated Henri Matisse’s “Dance,” which features five crimson nude dancers holding hands in a circle against a green landscape and a dark blue sky, with sausages, red cabbage and spinach leaves.

“I experienced a burst of emotion of the kind we have not been feeling because all countries are in quarantine to some degree,” the 50-year-old psychologist and photography aficionado said about the initiative.

“Any activity is great right now, whatever it may be.”

Editing by Alexandra Hudson