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7 Contemporary Works Inspired by Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights

Artists bring Hieronymus Bosch's triptych into the 21st century with Kate Moss, emojis, and Dr. Martens

Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, housed in Madrid’s Museo del Prado, has been inspiring artists for five centuries. Here are some contemporary works that play off the Early Netherlandish painter’s rendition of paradise, hell, and the “earthly delights” that lie in between.

“The Garden of Earthly Delights” Series
Raqib Shaw

Raqib Shaw The Garden of Earthly Delights X 2004 (medium res) 600

Raqib Shaw, The Garden of Earthly Delights X, 2004, acrylic, glitter, enamel, and rhinestones on board.

COURTESY WHITE CUBE.

Vivid jewel tones, mythological animal hybrids, glitter, and rhinestones animate Raqib Shaw’s “Garden of Earthly Delights” series. So does his background; born in Calcutta, India, and raised in Kashmir, Shaw grew up in a family that worked in the textile industry. The intricate designs of Jamawar shawls and antique carpets appear in the turbulent patterns of his seascapes.


Garden of Earthly Delights
Emily Erb

emilyerb_gardenofearthlydelights

Emily E. Erb, Garden of Earthly Delights, 2009, dye on silk.

COURTESY THE ARTIST.

On soft silk, Emily Erb chronicles humanity’s evolution and decline, in a world where chimpanzees and baboons carouse with fetuses and football players; where pill bottles nestle in the palm of a severed hand; where books are set aflame while televisions and atomic bombs prevail. In Erb’s work, hell isn’t fantasy; it’s our reality.


The Garden of Emojis Delights
Carla Gannis

CGannisBoschEntirePiece_600

Carla Gannis, The Garden of Emoji Delights, 2013, archival digital pigment print.

COURTESY KASIA KAY ART PROJECTS GALLERY.

Brooklyn-based artist Carla Gannis transforms the creepy cast of Bosch’s hellscape into the cute emoji characters that inhabit our iPhones. Witness the demon tattooing sheet music onto a sinner’s derriere and the emoji pig in a nun’s habit caressing a nude man.


Motherboard
Ali Banisadr

Ali Banisadr Motherboard, 2013oil on linen82 x 120 inches

Ali Banisadr, Motherboard, 2013, oil on linen.

COURTESY SPERONE WESTWATER, NEW YORK.

Ali Banisadr, a Brooklyn-based painter from Tehran, reflects on earth, civilization, technology, and ether in his painting Motherboard, recently shown at Sperone Westwater. Its dense and frenetic spirit give it a distinctly Boschian flair.


Garden of Earthly Delights
Martha Clarke

Scene from Martha Clark’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, originally staged in 1984 and revived in 1987 and 2008. COURTESY THE ARTIST. PHOTO: RICHARD FINKELSTEIN.

Scene from Martha Clark’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, originally staged in 1984 and revived in 1987 and 2008.

COURTESY THE ARTIST. PHOTO: RICHARD FINKELSTEIN.

Conceptual artist, theater director, and choreographer Martha Clarke brings Bosch’s painting to life in her production of The Garden of Earthly Delights. Intense and sensual, the dance enacts Bosch’s narrative of creation and the perils of succumbing to temptation.


The Garden of Earthly Delights (El Bosco)
Lluís Barba

21-07 El jardín de las delicias- Bosco

Lluís Barba, The Garden of Earthly Delights (El Bosco), 2007, C-Type print, perspex/aluminium mounted.

©LLUÍS BARBA/COURTESY CYNTHIA CORBETT GALLERY.

Barcelona-based artist Lluís Barba introduces the likes of Kate Moss and Coca-Cola into his Garden of Earthly Delights (El Bosco). Barba’s cut-and-pasted figures take selfies, play sports, and even argue with Bosch’s own characters.


Dr. Martens
The Hieronymus Bosch Collection

Dr-Marten_Compiled_600

Left: Dr. Martens, 15″ Satchel. Right: Dr. Martens, Hell 8-eye boot.

COURTESY DR. MARTENS.

Bosch’s painting lends fashion a bizarre frisson in everything from the couture dresses of Alexander McQueen to Dr. Martens’s clunky and funky boots. For its Spring/Summer 2014 season, Dr. Martens has created a collection of boots, shoes, and satchels, each inspired by a different panel of Bosch’s triptych.

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