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Four Days to Go

16 | 07 | 2015
Four Days to Go
In the words of Barack: four more years. No, hang on, four more days. It is with a tinge of sadness that I'm preparing for our highly emotional crowdfunder to make its final calls. Like an on-form episode of Bob the Builder, it's been good fun and we've learnt lots - except my building site is a desk covered in ancient sweet wrappers and forgotten notes-to-self. 
 
Someone's ended up more embarrassed than Twiggy at a bodybuilding convention, because our Instagram competition winner turns out to be a husband who was cajoled into wearing a silly hat. From an open call, Stephanie Acton took on Flemish painter Jan Gossaert’s Portrait of a Man, a stern-faced sitter from almost 500 years ago. “My silly hubby can’t do serious and brooding,” she said, casually describing the nonplussed look of a man asked to look stern while wearing a flowery white neck collar and crimson red hat. If that wasn't worth winning the hyperrealist book we were giving away, nothing is.
 
We had another faraway recreation yesterday as well – members of the Serlachius Museums, in Finland, paid their respects to their countryman, Hugo Simberg. When Simberg originally created this painting, in 1903, it was an idyllic recreation of a bit of impromptu Strictly-style stuff at dusk. He later redid it in rather more macabre fashion, with skeletons asking people for a Dance of Death. “The atmosphere is a bit jollier than in Simberg’s original painting,” our new favourite Finns told us. “What a pity that the rowing boats of the museum glided almost outside the vicinity.”
 
If you happen to be close to a jetty, give it a go here. Or pick any other painting you like – how about Henry VIII? We’ve knocked up a Pinterest board of some of the recreations we’ve had of the notoriously violent king so far. Turns out you don’t need to have a ginger beard, although the guy who does have one has done an excellent job and spun us out by standing underneath the actual painting, swigging on booze. Fair play, also, the red and black onesie and fake and real ‘taches this one’s inspired. The idea, as the tips suggest, is to make yourself as massive as jungle is with the yoof. Have a go here.
 
Hasta la próxima, #VanGoForIt.
 
Ben Miller

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