Chalamet in Art and everywhere else, please.
Timothée as the Boy with a Basket of Fruit, c.1593, by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Ah, the internet. What a fantastic place sometimes! That’s what went through my head when I first stumbled upon the Instagram account @chalametinart . It’s basically a page dedicated to images of Timothée Chalamet’s face photoshopped into classical paintings. Greatness! I was also glad to see I wasn’t the only one who thought his face resembled a renascence painting… and that some genious out there actually made it happen so the rest of us could stop wondering how it would have looked like if Timmy had been the muse for Michelangelo’s David, or had modelled for Caravaggio, Botticelli or Rembrandt. The following thought was how weird it must be to be him and seeing people spend time photoshopping your face into works of art.
In the process of turning a chosen celebrity into an “icon”(I guess we can all agree that Mr.Chalamet, one of the internet’s favourite boyfriends, can be deemed as iconic by now) we irremediably tie them to the roles they play, and the role’s characteristics irremediably permeate their aesthetic forms in the public eye forever. For Timothée Chalamet, his breakthrough role playing the dreamy, queer, trilingual, piano virtuoso Elio in “Call Me by Your Name” has left traces from this mystical role and allowed him to maintain the same aura in the collective consciousness, outside of the big screen.
“Part because of social media, our generation has a new found hope and excitement for a real chance to do things differently”.
Timothée in The Anatomy Lesson of
Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, 1632 by Rembrandt
"It is refreshing to see a young man, at the start of his acting career, not afraid of embracing their feminine and vulnerable side".
Timothée as David, 1501-1504 by Michelangelo
In the post #metoo world we are living in, Timothée is not only the icon we need but that we deserve. It is refreshing to see a young man, at the start of his acting career, not afraid of embracing their feminine and vulnerable side. When asked about this by Harry Styles (another of the internet’s favourite boyfriends) in a very recommendable interview for I-D, he explains how he is glad to be someone that young kids growing up now can look up to, and that the roles he is playing are instigating change in some way. “I want to say you can be whatever you want to be. There isn’t a specific notion, or jean size, or muscle shirt, or affectation, or eyebrow raise, or dissolution, or drug use that you have to take part in to be masculine. It’s exciting. It’s a brave new world.”
Timothée in The Birth of Venus, 1480s by Botticelli
There are certainly many problems with the uses we give to social media, and there is also a lot to be said about celebrity obsession, specially in its extreme manifestations. But in our alienating modern times, turning to iconic figures serves a purpose that is neither trivial nor new. And in part because of social media, our generation has a new found hope and excitement for a real chance to do things differently. So hey, if the next modern icons are anything like Timothée Chalamet, I’m all for it!
Text by Laura Cabiscol