When you decide to mix and weave together historical art with high fashion, you get Chris Rellas. Chris created an Instagram account that shares his creative inspirations @CopyLab, providing his audience with irony and humor.
What began as an original idea for a digital project, has now become a go to place for 29,000+ followers who are moved, intrigued and excited about Chris Rellas’ creations.
Monologue Blogger spoke with Chris about his work, favorite artists and his future plans.
MB: When did you first get the idea of combining historical art work and today’s fashion?
Chris Rellas: I started Copy Lab because I wanted to figure out some way to bring my two favorite things (fashion and art) together. Most of the images are meant to be funny and ironic. I want to make people laugh while also learning a thing or two about the brands we lust after and the art we love to look at.
I’m an art history major, and my main interests are in modern and postmodern art, so the idea of mixing high and low, and old and new are naturally really compelling to me.
Specifically though, I thought of Copy Lab while interning at Nasty Gal. I was looking at denim ads and simultaneously scrolling through a favorite art blog when the idea to bring the two together hit me.
MB: What made you decide on Instagram as your platform of expression and are there other apps that you like or would consider working with?
Chris Rellas: I think Instagram is currently the most important app for the fashion set. I’m sure there are artists who prefer not to post their work on Instagram or other social media for fear that it will diminish their credibility, but for me it has been the perfect platform to get my work out there and interact with people from around the world.
MB: Do you have some of your own personal favorite pieces that you’ve created so far and if so, why?
Chris Rellas: My early favorites would have to be my Kim Jong-il series. It didn’t totally follow the “Copy Lab” rules, but it was ironic and ridiculous. And those are two things I really love. I also really enjoyed working on my “Luxtaposition” series because I did everything by hand, from start to finish.
MB: Who are some of your favorite artists as well as some of your favorite brands of fashion?
Chris Rellas: I love Chuck Grant, Marc Dennis, Brian Donnelly and Chloe Wise. In terms of brands, I really like Maison Kitsuné, Gosha Rubchinskiy, Eckhaus Latta and Jacquemus.
MB: How would you define yourself in terms of the creative work you produce?
Chris Rellas: I think I’m always trying to be a little bit contrarian and ironic. If I can make people laugh but also feel sort of uncomfortable, I’m happy.
MB: How has social media opened up doors for you?
Chris Rellas: As a person who didn’t grow up with connections in the industry, social media has allowed me to reach out and connect with the people I want to know and share ideas with. It’s connected me to so many intelligent, motivated people from all over the world that I wouldn’t have come across otherwise.
MB: Can you tell us about any hired/contracted work you’ve received so far?
Chris Rellas: I’ve worked with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Calvin Klein, Anya Hindmarch, American Vogue, Garage Mag, Poppy Lissiman, Steve Madden, and more.
MB: What advice do you have for other content creators who create in digital media? (artists, bloggers, youtubers, writers ect)
Chris Rellas: I think the most important thing is to be original and to stay true to yourself.
MB: When it comes to your work, where would you like to see yourself in the future?
Chris Rellas: There’s so much that fascinates me, but I definitely want to work in fashion. Ideally I’d love to do something creative with a few close, like-minded individuals, whether that be a concept store, a magazine, or something digital.