Every so often, someone discovers that two pieces of culture from very different backgrounds mesh together perfectly. The fortuitous unions can often lead to trends on their own, like the rise of mash-up songs by artists such as The Hood Internet a decade ago, DJ Earworm's annual "United State of Pop" medley, and bizarre cross-century intertwinings between artists like Mozart and Adele.
Now, in the spirit of that extreme time-and-space-travel comes Pop Quotery, a Facebook page that attaches iconic lines from cinema to classic works of art from as far back as 400 years ago. The project is run by a San Francisco-based artist named Marcel and updates frequently with mashups like a This is Spinal Tap quote plugged into Caravaggio's Narcissus, a masterpiece of 16th century Italian art:
So what kind of person comes up with the idea to fit two pieces from seemingly distant cultural worlds together like this?
"I love movies," Marcel told A Plus. "Growing up in the '80s and '90s means my formative years were shaped by some (now) classics like the works of John Hughes and Ivan Reitman, and more recently the brilliant work from people like the Cohen [sic] Brothers and Quentin Tarantino. What really stuck with me from absorbing all of these, is how well crafted the dialogue is."
As such a fan of the dry wit delivered through masters of dialogue like Tarantino and the Coens, he's likely the sort of person who quotes films in conversation all the time. But it's one thing to call notable lines out loud, and another thing entirely to return them to the form in which they originated: writing. Like this exasperating back-and-forth argument between Walter and The Dude from The Big Lebowski.
Or this famous monologue from Fight Club:
Naturally, when someone watches a film that speaks to them in a certain way — or reads a great book, or consumes any form of impactful art — they might start seeing its themes wherever they go. For Marcel, it seems like this happened with classic paintings.
"I also love fine art and also spent a lot of time in museums growing up," he said. "Merging the two seemed like a natural fit. Particularly when I saw Black Narcissus by Caravaggio, the This is Spinal Tap reference just screamed to be added."
By simply tacking quotes both light and dark onto these famous artworks with comic book-style word bubbles, he's created a mash-up fans of both high-brow and low-brow humor can enjoy. Check out more by visiting the Pop Quotery Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.