Cosplay and superhero art is not new. Artists have been recreating some of the most famous cosplay and superheroes on canvas, film, statues, walls and much more.
The Renaissance of Cosplay
In 2014, photographer Sasha Goldberger unveiled an exposition of legendary superheroes and notorious villains with Renaissance regalia. The superheroes have giant round white collars (aka ruffs) and their costumes have been updated with Renaissance fabrics with puffed sleeves, capes, gloves, tights and much more. The modern photos with the Renaissance twist feature images of Batman, Robin, Wonder Woman, Joker, Cat Woman, Spider Man, Captain America, Superman, Iron Man, Hulk, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, R2D2, and Darth Maul. See a small sampling of the work at http://collider.com/superhero-cosplay-images-renaissance/.
Andy Warhol was at the height of his career when the Batman TV series made its debut. Although Warhol himself has been used a cosplay character, he painted a lot of infamous superheroes in his Pop Art style. Warhol loved comic books and brought Superman to life multiple times. There are also black and white photos of Warhol dressed as Boy Wonder and Nico as Batman. Many of the icons Warhol painted have also been used for cosplay including Marilyn Monroe, James Deen, and Audrey Hepburn.
Roy Lichtenstein made his own comic books into original art, but did use iconic characters like Mickey Mouse in his work. Comic strips come to life and were a way for him to remark on the society of his day and could in many cases be considered parodies. Like Warhol, he was one of the biggest names of his day. His canvases were huge and engaged the viewer. After the 1960 he started painting in a more classic style and reproduced works by Cezanne, Mondrian, and Picasso. But, he will always be most known for his large comic book style paintings.
Modernist painter Mel Ramos is best known for his paintings with superheroes (Cat Woman, Joker, Superman, and many more) and voluptuous women (who could be modern-day superheroes) emerging from Chiquita bananas or popping up from candy wrappers or lounging in martini glasses. A contemporary of Warhol, Ramos’ work has been shown all over the world and reproduced in book, catalogs, and more. Ramos was a huge influence on graffiti artists in the 1980s to the present who have used his style to create superhero works on walls in every major city in the world.
The illusive British graffiti artist Banksy has also used superheroes and other popular character that have made the cosplay list. Banksy takes modern society and turns its head. He has put up a works of Charley Brown smoking a cigarette and pouring gasoline, Drunk Mickey Mouse, and Ronald McDonald and Mickey Mouse with Kim Phuc, the girl running from a Napalm blast in a 1972 photo. His work has appeared on The Simpsons TV show.
And, although the art of cosplay in modern times still seems to be a man’s world, one male artist has made his female superheroes bad asses and unafraid to take on danger, head on. Karl Liversidge (aka Souracid). Black Cat is a feline superhero who likes to display her cleavage and look killer in her tight black suit. Batgirl is pensive, sexy and very obviously will kick your ass. And Emma Frost can manipulate you with her beauty, mind, and combat skills. His work has the realism of photos but they are oil paintings. Check it out at https://moviepilot.com/posts/3647464.