From the distant past to 2020.
You may remember how Saladin envisioned what Abraham Lincoln might look like today:
She imagined what Mona Lisa – the subject of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous portrait – might look like in 2020:
And she created this image of what Julius Caesar might look like as a modern man and an iPhone carrier:
One of the most interesting things about this project is how far Saladin goes to make sure his images are as historically accurate as possible. She tries to use only contemporary portraits of the characters (i.e. portraits taken during their lifetime) and does meticulous research to find historical records of their physical appearance.
Saladin tells BuzzFeed that since we last arrived with her, she has embarked on a ‘world tour’ to shed light on what a new group of historical figures from around the world might look like today. hui.
She modernized the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut, who ascended to the throne in 1478 BC and is considered one of the most successful pharaohs in Egyptian history.
It brought in 2020 the legendary Venezuelan leader Simón Bolívar, who liberated much of modern South America from the Spanish Empire in the early 1800s.
And she envisioned Pocahontas as a 21st century woman.
Saladin – which has nearly a quarter of a million subscribers on Instagram – says one of the ways she chooses her topics is to ask her followers who she should do next. A popular demand was for the mighty 19th century South African king Shaka Zulu.
Saladin tells BuzzFeed: “I did a lot of European characters at the start, because they are the characters I knew best and that I knew best growing up. be able to bring them to life. “
Some of these portraits were more difficult to achieve than others. Saladin says: “The challenge of creating certain figures came from the portraits themselves. For example, my portrait of Queen Mother Idia was a challenge because it was created from a mask. When I started to creating this art, I didn’t think ‘I’m already good enough at making something out of a mask, but I gave it a try and I’m really happy with how it turned out.’
His modernization of Mumtaz Mahal – the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built – was also a challenge as it was based on a highly stylized portrait. Saladin says, “I’ve finally figured out how to translate the stylization into a more realistic portrait, which opens a lot of doors. Many cultures portray their rulers as a stylized “essence” rather than a photorealistic image. presented a huge challenge for me. Now that I have improved my skills, I am getting better and better in these conditions. “
Saladin is proud of her new work and believes it to be of better quality than her previous work. Below, she brings Akhenaten – the ancient Egyptian pharaoh who reigned circa 1353–1336 BCE – into modern times.
As for the future, Saladin is excited to expand what they do and are working on new offerings such as bookmark design, prints and digital downloads. She’s even on TikTok, where she’s making videos showing the transformation process.
Take a trip down memory lane that will make you feel nostalgic AF