No, this wasn’t shot at the Louvre. No, this wasn’t shot in Paris either. In fact, it wasn’t even shot in Europe.
This rendition of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, was on a Melbourne wall some weeks ago. But it wasn’t a framed painting – it was actually a poster to publicise the well-patronised da Vinci exhibition in November 2009.
The first time I saw the poster, I shot just the face, but I thought it looked like a simple photograph of the painting. I wanted something different, something that would show it was NOT the original.
So a couple of weeks later, I went back to the same spot and realised the poster had a slim red border, much like “Time” magazine. Furthermore, it had a series of stars (quite possibly denoting excellence or a great review) down the bottom of the print area.
I framed my shot and just waited. You see, I was waiting for a pedestrian to walk between the poster and my camera. Not just any pedestrian – it had to be someone of a certain height, so as not to obscure too much of the Mona Lisa herself.
Am I imagining it, or is the Mona Lisa smiling a bit more mysteriously than usual?
I do not crop, enhance or post-edit my images in any way. Shot with a Pentax K100D, using a Sigma 70-300mm lens. F6.7, 1/180 sec, ISO 200, focal length 133mm.
Featured in AN OUTCAST SOMEWHERE, February 2010.
Featured by my co-host in PASSIONATE ABOUT VINTAGE, May 2010.