CULTURE & ARTS

8-Bit Versions Of Famous Art And Pop Icons Are All Kinds Of Yes

These ’80s recreations are, like, totally bitchin’.
"The Last Supper"
"The Last Supper"

What can possibly make you happier than accidentally finding out that if you Google image search “Atari Breakout” that you can actually play the game?

Pixelated recreations of famous works of art and pop-cultural icons that look like they belong in the OG gaming system, that’s what.

Artist Adam Lister makes 8-bit versions of everything from Hokusai’s “The Great Wave” to Darth Vader with watercolors, and the end result looks fluid and beautifully rigid; futuristic and like a nod to the ’80s all at the same time.

“I had been painting non-representational geometric pictures for a long time,” Lister told The Huffington Post. “Then one day, I was in the studio and I needed a change. So I took the same hard-edge painting approach I had been using for abstract work and used it to make an image everyone would recognize.”

"Bob Ross"
"Bob Ross"

Lister, who grew up in the ’80s playing video games, also admits that pixel-based images “were already a huge part of my imagination.”

Because of this, the images he chooses to recreate are ones that he feels closely connected to. “Sometimes they are childhood memories, sometimes they are just subjects that I like,” he said. 

"La Grand Odalisque"
"La Grand Odalisque"

Lister’s watercolors, all start the same way. “I look at the original subject that I'm working with and I begin to break it down in my head,” he said. “I try to give the pure essence of an image. Not every detail, but enough visual information that people can decipher the painting.”

"Mister Rogers"
"Mister Rogers"

Lister starts with pencil, “blocking in some the bigger compositional elements,” and then allows his imagination to grow from there, finishing each piece with watercolors.

The time it takes to create one of his 8-bit wonders depends on the complexity and size of the painting, which can vary from 8-by-10 canvases to palm-sized miniatures.

“I like to get in the studio and work for 12 hours straight, alternating between painting and drawing,” he said.

It’s time that, bit by bit, totally pays off.

  • "Olympia"
    A recreation of Édouard Manet’s masterpiece.
    A recreation of Édouard Manet’s masterpiece.
  • "BB-8"
    It may be hard for BB-8 to roll around the desert of Jakku with such rigid edges … but it looks cool.
    It may be hard for BB-8 to roll around the desert of Jakku with such rigid edges … but it looks cool.
  • "The Great Wave"
    Hokusai’s famous piece has never looked slightly less fluid than normal, yet slightly more awesome.
    Hokusai’s famous piece has never looked slightly less fluid than normal, yet slightly more awesome.
  • "Boba Fett and Darth Vader"
    Boba Fett and Darth Vader in all their 8-bit glory.
    Boba Fett and Darth Vader in all their 8-bit glory.
  • "The School of Athens"
    This recreation of Raphael’s fresco is outside the box.
    This recreation of Raphael’s fresco is outside the box.
  • "Lady with an Ermine"
    Leonardo da Vinci would be proud of this pixelated weasel.
    Leonardo da Vinci would be proud of this pixelated weasel.
  • "Stormtrooper"
    Here’s hoping there is a pixelated version of Finn under that Stormtrooper helmet.
    Here’s hoping there is a pixelated version of Finn under that Stormtrooper helmet.
  • "La velata"
    Raphael’s woman with a veil looks like she belongs in an Atari game.
    Raphael’s woman with a veil looks like she belongs in an Atari game.
  • "Bar at the Folies-Bergère"
    Manet’s famous no-B.S. bartender looks ready to box.
    Manet’s famous no-B.S. bartender looks ready to box.

Also on HuffPost:

PHOTO GALLERY
20 People From Famous Paintings Who Can't Even
CONVERSATIONS