How can you go down in the history of modern art if you are under 30? Perhaps, someone will be inspired by the example of an Israeli artist Amit Shimoni.
He simply invented and depicted a new theme, i.e. fictional images that some state leaders of the past & present would possibly have if they abandoned their state affairs and started living like teenagers of the generation Y. His paintings show famous politicians depicted as present-day slap-up teens. This Hipstory project, which Shimoni started as a term paper in the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, has a motto, which reads Why Be a World Leader When You Could be a Hipster?
The Guardian, an influential British newspaper, wrote an article about the artist, and another renowned newspaper The New York Times ordered Hillary Clinton’s portrait by him. The Magazine Forbes Israel included his name in the list of the most successful and promising young people. The young artist also participated in the electoral campaign of Erna Solberg, the prime minister of Norway who was successfully reelected as the head of government in fall 2017.
In general, thanks to only one successful art project, the artist became internationally popular.
The creation of the images was based on the artist’s reflections on the differences in generations mentality. In an interview, he admitted: I often think about the difference between great leaders of this world with their beliefs and motives and our self-centered generation.
Amit Shimoni depicted iconic historical characters such as the first US President George Washington, the first Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the state of Israel David Ben-Gurion, the British Queen Elizabeth II and the prime ministers Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, the leader of the Indian independence movement Mahatma Gandhi, France’s President Charles de Gaulle, Latin American rebel Ernesto Che-Guevara, South African President Nelson Mandela, Princess Diana, and contemporary politicians, such as Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. All of them look extremely stylish, and they all have trendy outfits and tattoos.
Amit also composed stories about the leisure of each of them. According to these imaginary stories, Donald Trump is an admirer of a Sufi poet Jalaladdin Rumi and a Canadian indie rock band Arcade Fire, Margaret Thatcher rides a motorcycle around London, Winston Churchill became a fitness guru, a bikram-yoga lover and the director of health resorts, Angela Merkel is a keyboard player and a back-vocalist in a fashionable rock group, and her musical co-worker is Queen Elizabeth II. Mahatma Gandhi became a great lover of coffee latte, and Hillary Clinton started manufacturing jeans on old looms.
So the artist tried to make politicians clearer and closer for his generation. Grandsons of politicians liked the project as well. Nelson Mandela’s grandson, for example, sent the artist an e-mail, whereby he thanked Amit for the project and offered cooperation in the field of philanthropy. Teachers from around the world admitted to Shimoni that they used his artworks in history lessons. The Dalai Lama Foundation, (his portrait was also in the project) expressed delight and ordered new paintings.
After the politicians, Shimoni switched to famous artists. So Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol became heroes of his paintings. Shimoni developed his business on a large scale, placing images of his heroes on t-shirts, phone cases and key chains.
We can only wish a beginning artist to make their new projects as creative and successful.