What if you put 1000 monkeys in a room with Norman Rockwell?
The illustration on the left was the result of an academic exercise based on the old physics conjecture "If you locked a thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters, ultimately one of them would compose the 23rd Psalm (or "Hamlet" or "War and Peace" - it varies). I posed the same monkeys in an art studio hoping for the Mona Lisa or a Picasso or a Disney. I modeled the result on Norman Rockwell's painting (pictured above right) "Triple Self Portrait" and this little fellow, Jo-Jo, amazed everyone. And, I might add, it only took a few days. Go figure.
Who Flung Dung?
Back during the administration of New York’s Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the Brooklyn Museum hosted an exhibit titled “Sensation” - featuring, among other works, a painting by British artist Chris Ofili. The painting, titled “Holy Virgin Mary” (see Ofili link), provoked a great controversy because it depicted a black Madonna defaced with elephant dung - a mainstay of his work since the early nineties. Ofili’s defenders point out this is a traditional African technique representing fertility in Nigeria, a country he once visited.
The mayor, a Catholic, threatened to withhold all municipal funding for the arts and subsequently established a citizens “decency committee” to screen future exhibits. The illustration to the left is my artistic response to both the Mayor and Mr. Ofili, who, I feel, were both rubbing the public’s nose in it.
First I selected the mascot of the Republicans - the elephant - and not just any elephant, but Babar, the king of the elephants from French children’s literature. I then desecrated this image with the dung of a virgin. In this way I make a statement about pretentious artists, crusading mayors and decency committees. Oh— and French elephants.
Okay, I confess. I substituted peanut butter for the elephant dung! It's damn near impossible to find a virgin here in New York City!
The Lost Prescriptions of Dr. Seuss -
a poetic salute to Theodor Geisel
As anyWho in Whoville will tell you, Dr. Seuss
was a prolific storyteller. But what I admired most was his cartooning talent. This illustration coincided with his passing and was inspired by the discovery of the 'lost episodes' of The Honeymooners