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Klavan On The Culture

NSFW: Artist’s Wonderful Spoof of Modern Art Gets Her in Trouble

June 18th, 2014 - 6:48 am

British artist and comedian Miriam Elia is in trouble with Penguin Books after publishing an explicit — but absolutely dead on and hilarious — spoof of modern art in the form of a Penguin’s children’s Ladybird book. Elia says Penguin’s been kind about it and has tried to negotiate but has to keep its trademark rights. I do understand that and I’m not blaming them, but it’s really too bad because the thing is great. It’s called We Go To The Gallery, and has little Peter and Jane being taken to someplace like the Tate Gallery by Mummy to learn all about modern art and its vision of the world.  Here are a couple of panels — as I say, Not Suitable For Work:

01 - lx5nNJB 03 - YxmNf2A 10 - 3CJogk9Oh dear, indeed. Wish there was more sanity like this around. You can see the whole thing here.

I’ve never heard of Miriam Ella before but I’ll be on the lookout for her now. She’s apparently got a new comedy show on BBC Radio 4 called “A Series of Psychotic Episodes.”

*****

Cross-posted at PJ Lifestyle

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Top Rated Comments   
It's refreshing to see creative use of mockery levelled at the oh so serious cultural experts. It's always nice to be reminded that the emperor has no clothes.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (24)
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Mummy is a Women's Studies Major who married a Trust Fund pajama boy. Did Mummy mention that she aborted their little brother?
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is hysterically and utterly, un-ironically true of the ”modern art” world. I witnessed this myself in the late 1980’s in an odd confluence between Rutgers University and Quantico VA.

Seems a young fellow’s ultimate goal was becoming a Marine Infantry Officer, so he enlisted into the Marine Reserve to help pay for the College Degree he would need to become a Commissioned Officer. His Paris Island and Junior Enlisted experience calculated to be an advantage once he graduated college and went on to Officer Candidate School. He was a sharp, motivated kid.

In the name of Simple Expediency he became an Art Major, his observed “path of least resistance” to a 4 Year Degree…and all of the “works” he created were intentional, meaningless, pseudo-political schlock.

Absurd and meaningless nonsense of minimalist “skill”, as they were simply traced from slides in an overhead projector.. ….A Hiroshima Cloud over the Three Crosses of Calvary, Reagan in a Ronald MacDonald costume…Nuns with Rifles at Parade Rest, Einstein vomiting luxury cars and yachts….A monk in flames over an Exxon sign, The Saigon Police Chief holding not a pistol, but a limp, dead, Bugs Bunny by the throat.

Meaningless “image salads” that won the instant praise and approval of the Bloated Lefties running the Art Department. He submitted work in silence. They sought comment, and he withdrew further. The hook was in.

And so the game was played, with this rather Teutonic Looking Warrior now going by the singular name of FAUIM, (all caps, all the time!) pronounced “ fauw-eem”, his secret acronym for “F*ck All You Ignorant Morons”. He wore Camouflage Trousers and Combat Boots coupled with a loud “Bill Cosby” type sweater every day whist sporting a Roosevelt style cigarette holder and, on occasion, a swagger stick.

Silent, brooding and above it all, FAUIM, became a near celebrity on campus. Missing classes at will and literally phoning it in, going so far his Senior Year as to steadfastly refuse to “allow” any of his class “work” to be displayed other venues because (how he managed to hold a straight face I don’t know) :

“The last thing these obscenities need, is to be placed on a f*cking pedestal!…My GOD, if you cant see that, then I have FAILED as an artist!”

His professor was so moved, he nearly wept. The multiple strada of Irony that FAUIM had woven into that single statement easily exceeded the layers of Damascus Steel found in the finest of swords. He was simply a master of diversion, feint, and understanding how to manipulate your enemy.

So I guess, in the end, he really WAS a good Artist.

And he was also one helluva U.S. Marine.

We were from the same Hometown, (he graduated High School a year or two after me) and I happened to be his Platoon Sergeant at his first PLC course in Quantico so naturally I followed this young mans “career” (both military and academic) with some interest.

I spend some time with him at Rutgers when I occasionally visited home, relieving him of the …shall we say…”overflow?”… of enthusiastic young ladies eager to pierce the shell of this Enigmatic Warrior Artist.

And it I was my honor to eventually deliver Lieutenant Michael John (FAUIM!) Murphy, his Very First Salute.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yam, there is no Daddy, don't you know daddy's are nothing more than a useless social construct of a fascist-white-colonialist-aparthied-eurocentic-totalitarian mindset! How could you be so unenlightened? Wake up and smell the progressivism!
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was never able to draw anything representational.
In the third grade I placed 3 black dots on a blank sheet of paper and told the teacher it was a Polar Bear Eating Marshmallows in a Snowstorm.
She placed a Red F on the page.
In college I did the same thing, three dots on a blank sheet of paper.
I then told the Professor it was a representation of man's existential struggle for meaning in the boundless environment of the Alaskan Frontier fighting the Cold of a Snowstorm, while observing a Wild and Unconstrained Polar Bear invade his supplies and eat all of his Marshmallows.
I received an A.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny how a culture of fine art dedicated to institutionalizing satire against their parents generation has no humor when it comes to being satirized. I once did something like this in the way long ago at an art school and it mostly made people angry.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
I may just have to search out and buy this book - the excerpts are dead-on and hysterically funny! (small joke intended.)
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Love it. I'm speechless. That is all.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Satire is not unlimited. It can clash with another person's copyright- the one whose work you satirize, for example, or be libelious. Here the issue is probably copyright: whether the satirical book is *too* similar to the original, similar enough to make people confused between them.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Often the real issue is less about confusion than usurpation. People may recall the satire before they think of the original work.

18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not unlimited, bit it's pretty damn broad vis-a-vis Hustler Magazine vs Falwell.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Who would be confused, pray tell?

Other than an Obama voter, that is...
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny stuff.
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
Funny. Can't beat Wolfe's "Painted Word"
18 weeks ago
18 weeks ago Link To Comment
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