This Artist Seamlessly Paints Star Wars Characters Into Actual Old Master Paintings—See Them Here

Show of the Day: "Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy" at Gallery 30 South, Pasadena.

Riccardo Mayr, Escape From Gliese 832c, after Guido Reni, 17th century The Escape to Egypt). Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.
Riccardo Mayr, Escape From Gliese 832c, after Guido Reni, 17th century The Escape to Egypt). Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

RICCARDO MAYR

“Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy”
Gallery 30 South, Pasadena

What the Gallery Says: “The purpose of this project is to integrate into original paintings from the 17th and 18th Century fictitious elements and characters taken from the popular culture of our times: the Star Wars saga. In so doing, we present religious faith and ethics in a post-modern paradigm largely embedded in fictional reality through a multi-generational exposure and fascination with successful science fiction movies. We also give back to figurative oil paintings a new path to a concept of truth.

“In most cases, the original paintings had sustained damage over centuries of non-archival storage with the cost of restoration exceeding their relative value, so more than just a mash-up of classical works from antiquity with contemporary pop, there is an element of art preservation and new relevance.”

Why It’s Worth a Look: The Force is strong with this one. As his literal canvas, Mayr is working with works of Swiss painter Franz Kaisermann (1765–1833) and Renaissance-era artists of Italy’s Ferrarese School, from his native Ferrara. The results are so seamless we wouldn’t be surprised if some viewers could be tricked into thinking the sci-fi elements reflected the paintings’ original appearance. Alternately, the Kaisermann landscapes and cityscapes, some of which recall the planet Naboo, could certainly pull double duty as concept art for Episode IX. Here’s hoping director J.J. Abrams makes a visit.

What It Looks Like:

Riccardo Mayr, <em> The Long Lost Hologram Message</em>, after Ferrarese School, 17th century <em>St. Francis of Paola</em>. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, The Long Lost Hologram Message, after Ferrarese School, 17th century St. Francis of Paola. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, Unreasonable Threat of a Contemplative , after English School, 18th century Marine With Shipwreck. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Unreasonable Threat of a Contemplative
, after English School, 18th century Marine With Shipwreck. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Arc of Constantine and Star Destroyer
, after Franz Kaisermann, 1765–1833, etching with hand coloring. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, Manchild, after Ferrarese School, 18th century Portrait of a Man. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Manchild
, after Ferrarese School, 18th century Portrait of a Man. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, Castle St. Angelo with Imperial AT-AT Walker, after Franz Kaisermann, 1765–1833, etching with hand coloring. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Castle St. Angelo with Imperial AT-AT Walker
, after Franz Kaisermann, 1765–1833, etching with hand coloring. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, Remote Training at Sichar’s Well , after Ferrarese School, 16th century Christ at the Well. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Remote Training at Sichar’s Well
, after Ferrarese School, 16th century Christ at the Well. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr, Neoclassical Landscape with Cloud City, after Franz Kaisermann, 1765–1833, etching with hand coloring. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

Riccardo Mayr,
Neoclassical Landscape with Cloud City
, after Franz Kaisermann, 1765–1833, etching with hand coloring. Courtesy of Gallery 30 South.

“Riccardo Mayr: Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy” is on view through January 28, 2018.

Gallery 30 South is located at 30 South Wilson Avenue, Pasadena, California.


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