Ronald McDonald towers over distraught men and women in floral wreaths, who reach out desperately to touch his glowing, Christ-like figure.
A 17th-century Simon Vouet painting is reimagined with a female figure from a 1960s comic-book, who shields herself from Father Time’s anger as Ned Flanders looks on laughing.
Welcome to the world of Notre Chauvet. Drawing on their training in traditional painting to combine classical elements with figures from pop culture, brothers Jo and Graeme Hagan create brash, dystopian visions that are as colourful as they are dark.
The Hagan brothers began releasing work as Notre Chauvet earlier this year, in a marked departure from the traditional impressionist style of their previous work. The group takes its name from the Chauvet cave in Southern France, which contains the earliest known cave paintings in the world. They see themselves, therefore, as carrying on a 40,000-year-old tradition: that of collaborative art.
Working in oil paint, as well as other materials such as gold leaf and silver foil, Notre Chauvet mash together two styles of illustration that could not be more different: stylised comic-book art, and Renaissance depictions of the human form.
▼ ‘Death of Father Time’
▼ ‘The Becoming’
▼ ‘Illusion of Lying’
▼ ‘Split Decisions’
Other paintings are firmly in the world of 2-D animation. Pikachu is surrounded by a crowd of cartoon characters, from Batman to the Pillsbury Doughboy.
▼ ‘Pikachu’s Nightmare’
In W.A.L.T. (or “We All Love Terror”), an army of Mickeys have black empty space for eyes. Brains, blood and colourful vomit decorate the manic scene. It’s not pleasant, but its unpleasantness is transfixing.
In their paintings of 20th-century icons, it’s not only Disney characters who wear costume and masks. Disguise is a recurrent theme: Shirley Temple becomes a facepainted clown; Marilyn Monroe, a prostitute juggalo.
▼ ‘Insane Clown Prozzie’
▼ ‘Shirley’s Surprise’
At times, it’s hard to know if these juxtapositions are rallying against their subjects’ iconic status, or subscribing to it.
▼ ‘Lord Shakur’
▼ Who knew Winnie the Pooh getting his brains knocked out could look so cool?!
You can follow Notre Chauvet on Instagram , where they post updates, as well as some stunning images of their work in progress . Check it out!
All images: Notre Chauvet
Sources: Artist Database , Notre Chauvet Website