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These Instagram posts as famous paintings are frankly ludicrous

The art world has been redefined by technology in recent years. Social media has transformed art as artists seek to create Instagrammable installations, while NFTs have redefined the concept of art ownership. It was only a matter of time, then, before we saw Instagram posts fused with world-famous paintings.

That's just what Money.co.uk had done. Inspired by the boom in NFT, which has seen pieces fetch millions at auction, the price comparison site set out to imagine what the world's most expensive paintings would look like merged with Instagram's most-liked posts. It's even calculated how much the hybrid "digital masterpieces" might sell for (see our guide to NFTs, if you're still confused about what they are).

Instagram paintings

The world record egg finds its way into Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi (Image credit: Money.co.uk)

The most-liked Instagram post since January 2019 remains the world record egg with over 55 million likes. So logically, the experiment used an egg to replace Jesus's face in Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, which sold for a record-breaking $450.3million (£325.8million) in 2017. Money.co.uk reckons the resulting piece would fetch up to $17,053 "based upon follower count, likes and engagement" calculated using Influencer Marketing Hub, which estimates the potential return for influencers with large followings.

Instagram paintings

Ariana Grande in Paul Gauguin's Nafea Faa Ipoipo (Image credit: Money.co.uk)

The results are predictably ludicrous mashups, and we're not quite sure what they say about social media's impact on art. However, some of them work surprisingly well. The second most-liked post on Instagram is pop superstar Ariana Grande's announcement of her marriage to Dalton Gomez in May 2021, with 26.6 million likes and counting. Above, you can see a post from the wedding itself reimagined through the brush of Paul Gauguin in his Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry).

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Instagram paintings

XXX Tentacion in Willem de Kooning’s Interchange. Click right for more (Image credit: Money.co.uk)
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Instagram painting

A blond Billie Eilish gatecrashes Cézanne’s The Card Players (Image credit: Money.co.uk)
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Instagram paintings

Messi's tribute to Maradona as painted by Picasso (Image credit: Money.co.uk)

The late XXX Tentacion's last Instagram post from 20 May 2018 fits quite well with the world's second most expensive piece of art, Willem de Kooning’s Interchange. Meanwhile, a blond Billie Eilish looks a little unimpressed about being placed in Paul Cézanne’s The Card Players.

The series is completed by Lionel Messi’s tribute to Diego Maradona comically reworked as Pablo Picasso's Le Rêve, which sold for £124million ($155million) in 2013. If you want to try your own luck at selling your digital creations, take a look at our practical guide to how to make and sell an NFT.

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Joseph is a freelance journalist and translator, as well as a project manager at a design agency based in Buenos Aires. His interests include graphic design and social media. He spends his nights dancing tango and drinking malbec.