AN artist who used a typewriter to recreate famous paintings and portraits of cultural figures has said he did it to prove that “some technologies will never die” amid uncertainty surrounding social media platforms in the digital age.

James Cook, 26, who splits his time between his home in Braintree and his studio at London’s Trinity Buoy Wharf, has completed a series of seven typewritten pieces of art, based on famous paintings and portraits of artists.

They include Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Johannes Vermeer’s Girl With A Pearl Earring and Grant Wood’s American Gothic.

Braintree and Witham Times:

He told PA News one of the main reasons behind the project was to highlight the fact that “some technologies will never die”.

“Fundamentally, what really got me going to start this project was that I wanted to create a series of artworks to prove that some technologies will never die”, he said.

“And I wanted people to realise the potential of typewriters, almost in an age where people are sort of departing from social media sites.

“The project concluded with the Van Gogh self-portrait, just as people were in the process of saying their last farewells to Twitter and everyone was using that hashtag Twitter shutdown, and my contribution to that was the Van Gogh picture, which got over 3,000 likes.”

Since Elon Musk bought Twitter, the platform has undergone a series of changes including a new planned model for how people are verified, with many staff members being fired too.

James’s first painting paid respect to his “inspiration” Paul Smith, who he referred to as the “origin story” of typewriter art and who made a typewritten version of the Mona Lisa.

More famous paintings have been created since September, with James trying his best to embed 'Easter eggs' into his paintings, to make them even more unique.

Braintree and Witham Times:

He said some were “trickier” than others to recreate.

James said: “The Van Gogh self-portrait took four attempts because if you look at his paintings, they are just dabbles of paint.”

However, it was worth it for the “really nice” comments and engagement with his posts.

“Most people still don’t even believe art on a typewriter is even possible”, he said.

More information about James’s work can be found on his website -