The concept of the Mastergram Tumblr is simple: “Remarkable photos made better (or worse) using Instagram.” Yet, just the loaded byline alone sends disgruntled shudders up the spines of photography purists while iPhone enthusiasts get giddy with anticipation. There you have it. Celebrated shots by Cindy Sherman, William Eggleston, Robert Mapplethorpe, and more, fed through smoothing, brightening, tinting Instagram effects — the very same technology that makes your most banal shots all pretty and special.
Photographer Andrew Emond investigates: “If the Instagram effect can make mundane images appear to be works of art, what happens when we apply the same filters to images that have historically been held in high regard? Is the imagery degraded or enhanced as a result? Does the effect add a new layer of meaning to the photo? Perhaps these are questions best left resolved by the viewer.” View the manipulated imagery below and see how Nan Goldin’s faded, blue-less bruise makes you feel.