Everyone knows someone who uses Instagram, the photo app that gives photos an aged, Polaroid look, on a regular basis to make their ordinary photos look more interesting. Perhaps you are that someone. But the man behind this week’s Tumblr uses Instagram to alter already extraordinary photos.
Essentially, Mastergram is a collection of Instagram images made using already famous photographs. By displaying the Insta-results, photographer Andrew Emond attempts to answer the following: “If the Instagram effect can make mundane images appear to be works of art, what happens when we apply the same filters to images that have historically been held in high regard?” In other words, if Instagram can make mundane photos look arty, what does it do to the already arty photos?
While Emond adds that visitors of the Tumblr should try to glean the answer from the results, there’s clearly no easy answer other than the images are transformed. For example, here’s Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #359 after it’s been Instagrammed. And here’s Sherman’s original. Here’s Walker Evans’ Sharecropper’s Family, Hale County, Alabama after it’s been Instagrammed. Here’s Evans’ original. Here’s Wolfgang Tillman’s The Cock (Kiss) after it’s been Instagrammed. Here’s Tillman’s original.
Amazing, but do they look better? In most cases, they don’t. (Though, considering the caliber of the photos chosen, it would be an amazing feat if they were to come out better.) And in some cases, like with Sherman’s photograph, the resulting image certainly loses some of the power that the original conveys.
But they’re still beautiful and we have to admit, despite some Instagram-fatigue, that it’s an amazing Tumblr concept.