11 Questions with CopyLab

About a couple of months ago, while exploring Instagram, I unexpectedly stumbled upon an Instagram account of a collage-maker mashing high-fashion items with masterpieces of greatest artists of all times. It was Chris Rella's Instagram account (Instagram: @copylab), where all his masterpieces are exposed. The detailing is done thoroughly, one could hardly say his artworks are not the original versions of Renaissance masters. I, as an advocate for prevailing aesthetics, could obviously not miss a chance to interrogate with an emerging artist of our days, and here is our discourse. 

Dave: How did you find your direction in art? What's the first work you did?

Chris: I think I always enjoyed making satirical images, and fashion was always such a huge interest to me. It's hard to say where my interest originated from, but I started honing in on my ideas when I was 19. I really wanted to create a project that combined all of my interests. And from that, Copy Lab was born! The first image I made was "Girl with a Chanel earring." The rest is history.

Original: Leonardo Da Vinci's Mary Magdalene Added: RIhanna tattoo of Egyptian Isis goddess 

Original: Leonardo Da Vinci's Mary Magdalene
Added: RIhanna tattoo of Egyptian Isis goddess 

Dave: Inspiration is something artist can't live without, so what are your main sources of inspiration?

Chris: I'm inspired by great image makers: photographers, stylists, social media stars who repurpose things or look at fashion as more than just clothing.

Dave: What's your favourite era in art?

Chris: Personally, I really love contemporary art and architecture, but I use a lot of Renaissance work for Copy Lab since it works better as a juxtaposition to the fashion. 

Original: Portrait of Tretyakov by Ilya Repin Added: Balenciaga S/S 17 Nails

Original: Portrait of Tretyakov by Ilya Repin
Added: Balenciaga S/S 17 Nails

Dave: I suppose you have a list of favourite artists. Who are the great names you would appreciate meeting and what would the first question to him/her be?

Chris: I think Bosch and Bruegel are two of the most interesting artists. I've never used their works on Copy Lab but I'm always looking for a way to incorporate them. If you aren't familiar with them, check them out. They made some really inventive works in the 1400 and 1500s.

Original: Ghirlandaio's "Portrait of a Young Man." Added: Louis Vuitton F/W 17 collab bag with Supreme

Original: Ghirlandaio's "Portrait of a Young Man."
Added: Louis Vuitton F/W 17 collab bag with Supreme

Dave: As we know, you are now exclusively operating your Instagram account, where apparently you showcase your masterpieces. Do you plan to broaden your brand’s presence across other platforms?

Chris: Yes, definitely! I'll be making a website soon, which will not only include Copy Lab, but also a lot of new projects in the works. Stay tuned!

Dave: What's your biggest dream and fear?

Chris: My biggest dream is to have my own store; it doesn't have to be big, but I want a physical space where I can create an original experience for customers. My biggest fear is that my biggest dream will never come true!

Original: Henry Scott Tuke's "Portrait of Jack Rolling" Added: Saint Laurent Bag Charm

Original: Henry Scott Tuke's "Portrait of Jack Rolling"
Added: Saint Laurent Bag Charm

Original: "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer Added: Chanel earring

Original: "Girl with a Pearl Earring" by Johannes Vermeer
Added: Chanel earring

Dave: How do you approach each collage you’re going to create?

Chris: Sometimes I’ll be obsessed with an accessory or piece of clothing and I’m determined to make an image with it, so I’ll spend tons of time looking for a panting that fits the vibe. Other times, I’ll be sitting with friends and the idea pops into my head and I rush home and make the image in 10 minutes. I think with every image, I really want to make people smile or think of the clothing or art in a different way.

Original: Guidobaldo da Montefeltro by Raphael. Added: Mawi necklace and Kenzo tiger sweater

Original: Guidobaldo da Montefeltro by Raphael.
Added: Mawi necklace and Kenzo tiger sweater

Dave: Yes! You mainly use Renaissance works for your collages, which is absolutely inspiring. What do you think the painters of other centuries would say about your works?

Chris: I don't know that Renaissance artists would understand what I'm doing, but hopefully, a few of the crazier would like it!

Original: Petrus Christus' "Portrait of a Young Girl" Added: Eye makeup from Prabal Gurung F/W 17 fashion show

Original: Petrus Christus' "Portrait of a Young Girl"
Added: Eye makeup from Prabal Gurung F/W 17 fashion show

Dave: With whom would you like to collaborate, if you had a chance? 

Chris: There are so many people and brands! I love Chloé Wise, so I think that would be one of my top choices. As far as brands, I think Visvim or Off-White would be fun to work with.

Dave: In Your opinion what's the best creation of all times and why?

Chris: "Garden of Earthly Delights" by Bosch has to be one of my favourite paintings of all time. The details on it are insane and there are so many references and hidden meanings, you could stare at it and interpret it for days.

Original: Bronzino's Portrait of a Young Man Added: Celine sunglasses and logo, and a rando banana tree

Original: Bronzino's Portrait of a Young Man
Added: Celine sunglasses and logo, and a rando banana tree

Dave: What do you think about Waldorf's Bazaar? About style, concept and etc. 

Chris: I love your style! I think we have a lot in common in terms of the clothes we love, so I'm always on your IG checking out what you have on. It's also great because sometimes I'll see something you're wearing and integrate it into a Copy Lab.

Dave: Thanks for the interview and for this special collage made for Waldorf's Bazaar. Undoubtedly  Jack Rolling would love this Saint Laurent micro-backpack charm. Let's end our conversation on the positive note with a glass of  Moët & Chandon. I'm sure Romans wouldn't mind to share this bottle with us.  

Original: Jacques-Louis David's “Oath of the Horatii" Added: Bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne

Original: Jacques-Louis David's “Oath of the Horatii"
Added: Bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne