Thursday, March 09, 2006

Put on a Happy Deface

I like art.

Painting, sculpture, decorated vases, tapestries … wandering through a museum taking in thousands of years of imaginative expression relaxes and rewards the soul. It connects us to our past. It inspires us to our own creative heights.

We all enjoy some works of art more than others. Among painters, for example, surrealists have a special place in my eye and in my heart, perhaps because their images echo my typical dreams.

Many pieces, however—including many more “abstract” ones—don’t excite me. Those works I often decide not to look at.

Others choose to stick gum on them.

At Detroit’s Institute of Arts, a 12-year-old boy—to whom I tip my hat for his direct approach—passed judgment on Helen Frankenthaler’s “The Bay” with a wad he was chewing. Now the museum’s prized $1.5 million acquisition has new character and charm: a quarter-sized splotch of gum residue.

While chemical experts debate which solvent to employ to save the painting, the boy has been suspended from his charter school, disciplined by his parents, and left to chew over alternative means to express his views of art.

But instead of punishing the lad, perhaps we should praise him.

Here’s a take-charge kid who recognizes inferiority—and rectifies it without remorse. With one stroke, he added depth and meaning to a work of abstract art. We could use more people like him to act boldly when duty calls.

I urge you all to join his cause and help make the world’s museums more entertaining for us all. Here are some fine places for you to start:

Michelangelo’s sculpture of David. It’s high time to make this famous naked man’s member more worthy of association with the name used pseudonymously by humorist bloggers. Rip off that little thing off, and attach a gargantuan schlong to more accurately represent Davids everywhere.

Van Gogh’s Starry Night. A beautiful painting, no doubt. But where are the aliens, descending upon our planet to enslave, anally probe, and eventually devour us? Artists have ignored the extraterrestrial threat for far too long. Somebody please, for the love of humanity, step up and add some spaceships and laser beams to this inaccurate, all-too-peaceful scene.

Picasso’s Guernica. You probably recall this rendering of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Twisted bodies, gruesome faces, misplaced limbs … in other words, just like most of Pablo’s work. Why not take the violence up a notch, and smear some fresh blood across the canvas to really bring the point home?

Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Rub that smirk off her face, ending once and for all the enduring speculation about the thought lurking behind her sly grin. Let’s give her a reason to smile—fill the foreground with the appropriate appendage of an Italian Renaissance hunk.

I suggest the new, anatomically correct David.


At March 09, 2006 5:48 PM, Blogger Zen Wizard replied to my musings ...

Yes, the statue of David should really be updated for the

At March 09, 2006 5:52 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Van Gogh’s Starry Night. A beautiful painting, no doubt. But where are the aliens, descending upon our planet to enslave, anally probe, and eventually devour us? Artists have ignored the extraterrestrial threat for far too long. Somebody please, for the love of humanity, step up and add some spaceships and laser beams to this inaccurate, all-too-peaceful scene.

I know just the "artists" for this particular job-- Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame. They'd also have to add some cows, as the aliens did find the cows to be the most intelligent beings they'd ever encountered.

Ever squirted ketchup, mustard, and mayo on a white place mat? doesn't the end result resemble a Jackson Pollock painting?

At March 09, 2006 7:31 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

Well, I guess that Monet's Waterlillies paintings could use Kermet the Frog and the Loch Ness Monster added them.
I'd like to see King Tut decorated with some polka dots.
I think Mona Lisa needs to sport a a big, buck-toothed grin.
I hear that most sculpture anatomy is larger than life.

At March 09, 2006 10:29 PM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

If the statue had a big dong added then the name of it could be changed to 'David and Goliath'.

I would of course rather see the Mona Lisa sticking out a Gene Simmons tongue.

At March 09, 2006 10:44 PM, Blogger ticharu replied to my musings ...

I want to extend this idea to music, like replacing those warn out guitar solos on all those Black Sabbath records with something more modern, or better yet, just mixing and matching. Tired of Ritchie Blackmore's solo in Smoke on the Water, replace it with some scotchin' Benny Goodman clarinet!
Sick of Cobain's vocals on the Nirvana records, replace them with Elvis or Slim Whitman. Hey! The possibilties are endless.

At March 09, 2006 10:54 PM, Blogger Bar Bar A replied to my musings ...

HILARIOUS! I can't think of anything witty to add to these comments but I will say I grew up with a statue of "David" in my parents back yard and I think it affected me for life!

At March 09, 2006 11:30 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

bar bar a - an old friend of mine told me he watched Pink Floyd's The Wall with his mom at age 8!

At March 10, 2006 2:27 AM, Blogger fatty ~ replied to my musings ...


u know, i bet da vinci was painting the mona lisa in the nuddie

At March 10, 2006 5:02 AM, Blogger An80sNut replied to my musings ...

If you mess with the statue, you might not be able to get the single women and gay men to leave the exhibit in a timely manner.

At March 10, 2006 6:52 AM, Blogger Rocky replied to my musings ...

Haha! Great post, David. I especially liked your art critiques. The statue of David with a Ron Jeremy crack would be funny. They could also add a hook arm to the Venus statue.

At March 10, 2006 6:54 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Good point; I suppose the implications of such Fight Club-esque defacing of art need to be thought through.

Perplexio: The Wall is disturbing to watch as an adult, I can't imagine how I would have taken it as an 8-year-old!

-- david

At March 10, 2006 8:28 AM, Blogger Cari replied to my musings ...

Maybe a lock ness monster coming out of the water in the van gogh paiting "starry noght over the rhone" and 2 people making out on the bridge in the claude monet piece "le pont japonais a giverny" hey this is fun! Too bad there isn't a site where you can mess with things like this and submit it in...hahahah....hey maybe you got something there??

At March 10, 2006 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous replied to my musings ...

Museums are passe. You just have to flick on MTV (wait, do they still play music???), or VH1 where are they now??? If museums house broken works of art, don't we have to consider contemporaneous works of art. Even if those works of art have become slightly scuffed as of late. In fact, many of our formal idols have now become true broken idols (not that we worship them, ten commandments and all).

What are the requirements for a fallen/broken idol???

1) First name, Billy? Hmm? Think about it. But not for too long.
2) Is he/she idling? You know that it saves gas.
3) Are their children still relying on their name to get movie roles or are they competing for senior fluffer administrator positions?

At March 10, 2006 10:14 PM, Blogger Jamie Dawn replied to my musings ...

DeFace! DeFace!
(That was me doing my Tattoo impersonation.)

At March 11, 2006 9:26 AM, Blogger BrianAlt replied to my musings ...

It can be said that any art can be improved or changed or modified and still be art.

As for Starry Night, I think you've been reading The Phoenix's blog for too long!

At March 11, 2006 4:56 PM, Blogger Phil replied to my musings ...

I'm not a fan of defacing art, but for cripes sake! He was a kid chewing gum. Lighten up school. Yes, he chewed some gum so you take away his education. Way to teach him a lesson.

At March 11, 2006 6:03 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

phil: I agree, punishing him for placing the gum-- yes that will make him understand what he did was wrong.

But suspending him for it-- depriving him of an education for chewing gum? How will he ever learn WHY what he did was wrong?

The punishment should fit the crime and a suspension for this "crime" is akin to getting sentenced to the death penalty for jaywalking.

At March 11, 2006 7:12 PM, Blogger CT replied to my musings ...

LOL... maybe the poor kid had ADD? anyways mon lisa needs to be banged that's the only way to get that smirk off her face... oh and not by me she is fugly!!!

At March 11, 2006 7:54 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jamie: I hadn't thought of a Fantasy Island connection!

Brian: Like Bob on The Phoenix's site, I have probably been abducted by aliens and thus am hypersensitive to the threat.

-- david

At March 11, 2006 8:09 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

I agree that some art shouldn't be put up for public viewing. However, couldn't the kid's actions be considered disrespectful? If he didn't like it, move on.
As for the rest of your choices on art, yeah--I agree. Maybe it's because I've been overexposed to them. And I never understood Mona Lisa's smile. It doesn't look like she's smiling to me. And she isn't even that hot.

At March 11, 2006 8:54 PM, Blogger :P fuzzbox replied to my musings ...

I have always thought that Mona Lisa's smile might have been induced by one of Da Vinci's lesser known inventions. The Renaissaince Bullet ~~~~~.

At March 12, 2006 10:10 AM, Blogger jay lassiter replied to my musings ...

i suspect the model for David has a pretty big piece. Would be great to see.

At March 12, 2006 10:36 AM, Blogger FredCQ replied to my musings ...

Mona could use a nice wad of Wrigleys in that smiling mouth of hers.

At March 12, 2006 7:15 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At March 12, 2006 7:17 PM, Blogger Godwhacker replied to my musings ...

I agree about "David" and I'd like to nominate Jeff Stryker as the anatomically correct model.

Clicking the above link will lead to a large plastic schlong!

At March 13, 2006 2:16 PM, Blogger Kid Jacque replied to my musings ...

Good post! I like your opinions about the art. What's wrong with changing a little history?

Seriously? Change is good...

At March 13, 2006 2:28 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Thanks, DD--and nice to see you back after some time away! Change is certainly good. And it's going to happen whether we like it or not ... so why not help it along?

-- david

At March 14, 2006 11:33 AM, Blogger KC replied to my musings ...

Some people like to bring their art home in a big way. Such a person lives in my neighborhood in a beautiful 2-story Tudor on a corner lot. Each side of the frontporch has an enormous lion. Each side of the front door has large gargoyle heads. Both the front lawn and the backyard contain life-sized statues of Venus and David (and misc others) with barely enough room to walk between them. Of course, when we drive by we laugh. But at the same time I have to admire someone who has the balls to over-decorate like that. It's awe- and laugh-inspiring.


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