Photographer Joe Giacomet Parodies Vladimir Tretchikoff’s “Chinese Girl”

All images by Joe Giacomet. Used with permission. 

To bring portraiture work to another level, often photographers will explore interesting and specific themes to work with, which includes playing with creative ideas and inspirations usually drawn from cultural references. Joe Giacomet has created a stunning series of portraits parodying the Vladimir Tretchikoff ‘s famous painting titled ‘Chinese Girl’. Joe has been featured on the site more than once.

Joe Giacomet’s own portraits of a model was created to have similar theme and look as Tretchikoff ‘s ‘Chinese Girl’. The conceptual art direction was done by Mark Denton. While the model was not actually Chinese, she did have strikingly familiar facial features as shown in the painting. The COY! Communications team including the talented make-up artist Saskia Laroque Rothstein-Longaretti paid painstakingly high level of attention to detail in replicating the look from the painting, from the yellow traditional Chinese cheongsam gown, to remarkable make-up work painting the face in shades of blue and green and shoulder length wavy hair-do. The result is an incredible set of photographs as if it brought the old painting to real life, aptly titled “Visions From The Mystic East”.


Joe further playfully parodied the “Chinese Girl” painting in his photography by having the model do humorous and unexpected poses such as blowing bubble gum, smoking a cigarette, wearing a Smurf’s hat, or even dramatically dressed in a full traditional Chinese Communist military uniform. The creative play in varying facial expressions and different acts in each image, yet having similar composition framing to the original planning was cleverly done. What Joe and his team have done in this series of portrait images was adding layers of dimension and lively, fun stories to the “Chinese Girl”.

You may find out more about Joe Giacomet and his team’s work at COY! Communications on their website here.