Ignasi Monreal depicts epic Renaissance-style portraits of creatives for Squarespace’s Browser History campaign
The campaign spotlights six Squarespace users who’ve made “inspirational pivots” in their businesses to adapt to the Covid era.
- Jenny Brewer
- 8 December 2020
Spanish artist Ignasi Monreal, known for his brilliantly modern take on classical painting styles, has worked with website building platform Squarespace for its end of year campaign, Browser History. The project spotlights six of its customers who’ve launched or made significant shifts in their businesses to adapt to the uncertainty caused by Covid, and therefore depicts them in epic, Renaissance-style portraits. By telling their stories and “immortalising” them with “heroic portraits worthy of their accomplishments,” describes CCO David Lee, the brand hopes to honour its customers “who were brave enough to launch bold ideas out into the world, despite the challenges that 2020 brought us”.
For the portraits, the brand looked for an artist who could create iconic painterly portraits, and quickly landed on Monreal, widely known for his Renaissance inspirations. Monreal met with all the selected creatives and entrepreneurs via video chat to do virtual portrait sessions, wherein the artist directed their poses, and captured them to build on for the final paintings. These see comedian and writer Ziwe Fumodoh poised atop a plinth among marble statues; fashion designer and PPE maker Tia Adeola in the clouds surrounded by mask-wearing goddesses; and Tim & Eric’s Tim Heidecker, also a musician, at a precipice overlooking the underworld. Elsewhere actor and producer-turned-baker Richaud wields a baguette flag in a horse-drawn chariot; artist Rose Greenberg lounges in a pile of her sculptural pillows and their comfy fans; and the Good Move team dances in the ocean accompanied by cherubs joining in their virtual classes via iPads. All the portraits exist in the same virtual world, which readers can explore via the microsite, and read Q&As with each creative.
“The portraits themselves are all individually so beautiful and iconic,” Lee says. “The amount of storytelling and detail in each is astounding. We really went to elaborate lengths to make sure that all of the little details that made up each portrait had meaning and were a nod to the amazing stories of these individuals.” The brand plans to print the portraits in large scale for its offices.
The website was built from mobile web up, pushing the in-house creative team to innovate with its own platform. “I would also say that we are extremely proud of how we brought these customer portraits to life by creating a very nuanced and layered interactive experience on the microsite,” Lee adds. “It’s a pleasure to simply scroll through, and I love how we found this fluid way of organically transitioning from each story to the next.” The series is planned as an annual “lookback” franchise to highlight some of the brand’s biggest success stories each year, with a new creative every time.
GallerySquarespace and Ignasi Monreal: Browser History (Copyright © Squarespace, 2020)
Tia Adeola portrait for Squarespace and Ignasi Monreal's Browser History campaign (Copyright © Squarespace, 2020)