Riccardo Mayr carefully adds elements and characters from the Star Wars franchise to original oil paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. A new show, “Religious Paintings of the Expanded Galaxy,” collects these works at Gallery 30 South in Pasadena. The gallery says one goal is to “present religious faith and ethics in a post-modern paradigm largely embedded in fictional reality through a multi-generational exposure and fascination with successful science fiction movies.”
The paintings the artist used include works from Franz Kaisermann and painters in the School of Ferrara. A statement also adds some context to the works chosen: “In most cases, the original paintings had sustained damage over centuries of non-archival storage with the cost of restoration exceeding their relative value, so more than just a mash-up of classical works from antiquity with contemporary pop, there is an element of art preservation and new relevance. Such methods can be understandably controversial, but Robert Rauschenberg‘s erasing of Willem de Kooning‘s drawings helped set a modern precedent by which an artist’s alteration can be transformative.”
See more of the works below.