An artist imagined what George Washington could look like as a modern-day president

An artist imagined what George Washington could look like as a modern-day president
·3 min read
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Left, an oil painting of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart; right, George Aquilla Hardy's modern-day rendering. VCG Wilson/Corbis/Getty Images/George Aquilla Hardy/Twitter
  • George Aquilla Hardy created an image of what he thinks George Washington would look like today.

  • Hardy used Photoshop to layer Washington's portraits with photos of Glenn Close and Michael Douglas.

  • Hardy shared the final product on Reddit, and the picture was shared more than 200,000 times.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

When most people think of America's first president George Washington, they often envision a painted portrait.

George Aquilla Hardy wanted to imagine Washington, who served as president from 1789 to 1797, in a new light.

Hardy took to the image-editing platform Photoshop to illustrate what he thought Washington might look like as a modern politician.

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The image took Hardy about three hours to complete. George Aquilla Hardy

Hardy's image quickly went viral on Reddit, and users said they were shocked by what the former president might look like today.

Hardy envisioned the first president in a modern way

Hardy, a musician and lead singer in his band, Strangers Club, taught himself graphic design and photo-editing skills during the pandemic. He told Insider that he wanted to give historical figures documented in paintings a modern look.

"I have always looked at images of historical figures who lived before the advent of the camera, and it's always caused me to imagine them in my mind as real people," he told Insider.

Hardy started by examining existing portraits of Washington and picking out commonalities, like the shape of his nose or face.

He said he applied an image of the Texas Republican Congressman Roger Williams as the base of the picture in Photoshop. He overlayed other photos of modern-day celebrities, like Michael Douglas and Glenn Close, and merged those onto the base image.

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Roger Williams, left; Michael Douglas, middle; and Glenn Close, right. House Television/AP/Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images/Steve Granitz/WireImage

The finished product was Hardy's "idea of Washington as a modern politician," he said.

Hardy's image is the reverse of the painting technique known as photo-realism, which the British art gallery Tate Modern describes as "a painting style that emerged in Europe and the USA in the late 1960s." Photo-realistic art often replicates the look of a photograph, according to Artsy.

Hardy said the project took a few hours to complete and that it was "weird" looking at a rendering of Washington in the form of a photograph.

"I know this is supposed to be George Washington, but it's as though my brain had convinced itself the man had always been a painting," he said.

Hardy posted the image on Reddit, and it's attracted more than 200,000 shares.

"Looking good for a 289-year-old," one user wrote on Hardy's rendition of Washington.

In response, other Redditors started seemingly creating and sharing their own modern-day versions of historical figures like Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin.

Hardy said his next idea is to create a similar-style photo of modern-day William Shakespeare.

Read the original article on Insider

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