Life imitated art last week for Justin Bieber when a grainy photo of hip-hop artist Post Malone choking the 22-year-old singer inadvertently captured all of the delicate beauty of a Renaissance painting. According to Maxim, Malone, Bieber's tour mate, said he grabbed Bieber by the neck in jest after Bieber put out a cigarette on his arm in a Houston nightclub.
The outlet pointed out, convincingly, that the photograph feels like the "modern equivalent" of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper, with Bieber (Lord, help us) as the Christ figure at the center of the portrait.
Cell phones, beers and cocktails in hand, the other club-goers mimic the exaggerated gestures and expressions of the disciples in The Last Supper immediately following Jesus' announcement that one of them will betray him. Does that make Malone the Judas?
Obvious religious symbolism aside, an Imgur user noted the shot's uncanny resemblance to a Renaissance work might be thanks to the golden ratio, a mathematical concept applied in art and design because of its appeal to the human eye. The Last Supper, coincidentally, uses a similar principle as this photo, what one Reddit user dubbed the "Choking of Justinus by Bieberangelo Duechebagus c. 1654."
And then the internet did what it does best, turning latent ideas and jokes into immortal memes:
Though the original Bieber photo was posted in the /r/Pics subreddit, users in /r/AccidentalRenaissance are always keeping their eyes peeled for contemporary takes on Renaissance art, and this isn't the first time the internet has latched onto a particularly irreverent candid shot.
When a Manchester Evening News photographer got a shot of a drunken man splayed in the street on New Year's, the internet did its bidding, superimposing the man into classic paintings by Michaelangelo, Sandro Botticelli and more.
Ah, yes. This must be what da Vinci meant when he said, "Art is never finished, only abandoned."