Discussion Topic: Art History Parodies

Vitruvian Homer

It’s been a strange semester with the stop-and-go calendar in the beginning of Fall 2012 and NYC’s shutdown over Hurricane Sandy.  Thank you all for your contributions on the class blog and for staying committed to your coursework to the end of the semester.  This is the LAST Discussion Topic for the semester.

I think a discussion of parodies and art makes a fitting end to the course.  Memes (images, video, or concepts that are spread via the Internet) often make references to iconic works of art.  Last year at the height of the Occupy Wall Street movement, college students were pepper-sprayed on the University of California, Davis campus.  Read a short article in the Washington Post on the pepper-spray cop meme as related to art history.

Washington Post article on the pepper-spray cop and art history meme

How many images did you recognize?  Do you find some parodies make more sense now that you’ve studied these works of art in class?  Please share with your classmates whether you’ve seen similar parodies of art.  You’re welcome to post images too.

As noted earlier, there is no time limit for posting to the Discussion Topics, however, you must submit all your blog posts BEFORE the final exam.

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9 Responses to Discussion Topic: Art History Parodies

  1. In this topic I feel that the parodies or memes of famous pieces that were remade are just other ways or funnier ways to see art. For example, the Vitruvian man was a drawing by Leonardo Da Vinci, it was a drawing of the perfect man or the dimensions of a man. One remake of it is a picture of a character from the simpsons, showing Homer as the Vitruvian man. Although this remake is a picture, it’s a funnier way of seeing things and it adds taste and uniqueness or art showing different perspectives or versions of famous pieces to a different generation. While we see art in some ways, people of younger ages may want to see it another way because it attracts them more. When I saw the pictures in the Washington post showing a man pepper spraying the art I found it a little funny, although they changed the art and its meaning it was a little humorous and it got me to remember the art more than I would have if I just saw the original.

  2. ACamara says:

    The art parodies were obviously made to give art a humorous aspect of art. The reference that this artist used was Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawing of himself. Da Vinci’s reason for drawing that painting was to imply that he’s an ideal man. In this artwork is an animated character from the show “Simpsons” and this character was funnier characters in the show. Looking at this from an elementary perspective I’d say the children would love this because it’s humorous. But I don’t find it as humorous because the artist didn’t use any creativity and used the wrong drawing to refer to.

  3. I recognized most of the images i found them pretty amusing. I think it went well with the photos because each photo dealt with fighting for freedom or equality and something always in the way. The guard pepper spraying the students was an abuse of power and involving him in these famous art works really makes it a powerful statement. these were iconic paintings of the time to show an abuse of power such as lady liberty of one the Picasso where the town was bombed by hitler. Each was a cruel act which abused there power and a student in a peaceful protest was a victim of this. Each painting was a much more serious event but never the less has the same theme. I found most of them really amusing though.

  4. JonathanChu says:

    These pictures were amusing to go through and while going through them I realized I recognized most of the pictures were based off of artworks that were talked about in class. I think these images were done nicely into making fun of the officer and his abuse of his power as an officer. The parodies helped understand the original paintings better in some ways. For example in slide #4 showed Edvard Munch’s The Scream, if you asked someone who has never seen the original painting before and has no knowledge of the background of the artist and then you showed them the original art piece they would wonder what the piece is about but if you show them the parody it will provide them with amusement and a minimum understanding of the artwork.

  5. Juwel says:

    I recognized most of the artworks, except two. This is my first time I heard about the story of pepper-spray cop, it’s been a year but I never heard it from anyone. As I looked through the pictures, I found them really funny. It doesn’t make sense as the real artwork does. There was one artwork about Adam’s Creation, where god gives life to Adam. But they replaced Adam to pepper-spray cop, which is humorous and insulting as well.

  6. Natasha says:

    The art parodies were used in a numerous manner to others but to the campus police officer featured it was to bring him shame.In liberty leading the people,it refers to him trying to refuse liberty from helping France move forward.In God giving Adam life,it’s almost like him saying I’m so mean and evil I would pepper spray God if I had the chance.Picasso’s , to me he would kiss ray while u were down ,he was also in a diplomatic way referred to Hitler.
    This method of art was to hurt and bring shame to officer Pike for this horrible deed he did to occupy students

  7. Anujat Deb says:

    Art parodies were made to add a bit of humor to a piece of art. The drawing of Leonardo Da Vinci that is conveyed by Homer Simpson is humorous because everyone knows that in the show “The Simpsons” Homer is probably the funniest character. On top of that I believe that parodies make historical pieces of art more famous. Although this image by Leonardo Da Vinci is very famous, modern day society most likely know more about The Simpsons, rather than this famous piece of art.

  8. I think art parodies are funny, especially when being shown with a character as famous and funny as Homer Simpson. The artist used and replaced Leanardo Da Vinci’s picture of himself, describe what a man should look like. The artist took it and developed it into a funny replica using a character as well-known by this generation as Homer Simpsons. I believe that on top of entertainment, parodies can bring the original work of art much fame because if someone doesn’t know why Homer is on it, they might get into it and research to see where the origin of the picture came from.

  9. The parodies were made to shame the officer who sprayed the students in the Wall Street movement. The artist chose the most famous paintings so that most of the people could understand the purpose of this parody. He chose scandalous paintings, and overall, history paintings regarding to protests and wars; from people fighting for their freedom. Like the officer was in opposition to the Wall street movement, I believe the artist was trying to communicate that he would also oppose to other political heroic events in the past. In “Liberty Leading the People” (Delacroix) and”Guernica” (Picasso) the officer is commiting an unfairness and a voilation for spraying people who are expressing themselves, fighting for justice, and suffering from attacks. In the same way, he did that to the students in real life. ( he acctually spayed Liberty in the painting; he is in opposition to liberty). He also sprayed God in “Creation of Adam.” God is regarded as the most benignant and respected being by many, Sparying god is the face is a horrendous thing to do. He also sprayed the naked woman in “Luncheon on the Grass” (Manet). I regard the painting as the officer not letting express the womans naturality, and just because he didn’t like the fact that she was nude in a public space, he sprayed her. In the same way the officer didn’t like the fact that people expressed their opinions as citizens and decided to hurt them. It’s not possible to understand the parodies if one don’t know the pictures, and less than that, finding them funny. I know these paintings which means I know what they represent, what the artists are trying to express, and recognize important characters like god in “Creation of Adam.” The understanding of the paintings makes me able to relate them to the parodies.

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