Art

Shaking Up the Saints

Power and holiness are overtaken by irony, sarcasm and bar jokes.

Story by Max Power - max.power@citizenbrooklyn.com Collages by scorpiondagger.tumblr.com

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Jesus is a drunk, kicked out of a bar. The Virgin Mary is having a cocktail in the back yard with her snake friend. Pranks are played on saints and devotees. Power and holiness are overtaken by irony, sarcasm and bar jokes. But, something happens, the character of art history comes to life.
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The absurd and dramatic question Michelangelo shouted to David while throwing a hammer to him; “Why don’t you talk?” still isn’t answered, but the artworks at least start dancing and wobbling around. If you do an image search on Renaissance art today, you’ll see dancing saints and clumsy virgins having fun and coming back to earth from the abstract paradise where they were pushed.
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Like in Mozart Magic Flute, pop culture takes on the high formats and transforms them, twists them and gives them life. Are these experiments better than the original art? The answer is no. They aren’t, but for sure they underline a process that will never end.
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As Mitchell says images are alive and have requests for us. Animated images that circulate on the web give us a glimpse of this astonishing reality. Like Japanese haikus, they are essential and universal at the same time. Like Tibetan mantras they repeat themselves in a loop, like in a vertical spiral that mocks life and reality. Welcome the Renaissance pranksters! Welcome life.
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