Art History Corner

December 1st, 2009at 07:27pm Posted by Eli


So I had this horrible right-wing e-mail forwarded to me, promoting the latest work of this horrible woman who appears to be the Ann Coulter of children’s books.  At first I thought the illustration that accompanied it was merely godawful, but then I noticed that the Sarah Palin figure actually had a halo around her head (can’t be the sun; check out where her shadow is), which got me to thinking that there may be hidden depths here that only a trained art historian can plumb.

Thus I enlisted the aid of Noted Art History Scholar, The Shadowy & Mysterious Codename V, to perform a more in-depth analysis of the iconography of this… striking illustration, and hopefully explain why Governor Palin is carrying a bag full of penises:

My first impression on viewing this work is “OMG MY EYES, MY POOR EYES.” But I realize this is not helpful from an art historical perspective.

The predominant figure is a woman who appears to suffer from some sort of gigantism of the head and neck. Whether or not this is a human figure is debatable. She carries a bag which appears to be full of severed male genitalia (it is not academically appropriate to say weenises, so I won’t), although closer inspection suggests they are likely tubes of lipstick. She apparently has small laser beams coming from one of her eyes. A halo surrounds her abnormally large head.

A disheveled rat stands nearby, pointing at her in an accusatory manner. Two small derelict children stare one, one in horror, the other joyfully.

What does this all mean? I shall now apply the vast knowledge of iconography that I learned over the weekend whilst writing a paper about the Northern Renaissance. I am pretty sure this work here isn’t Dutch. That’s unfortunate, as I mostly know Dutch symbolism. Also you can rest assured that I am COMPLETELY PROFESSIONAL and would NEVER MAKE THINGS UP. Let’s proceed.

The woman’s stance suggests that she is probably kind of bitchy. I would be bitchy too, if 90% of my body mass was in my head and neck. Her bag of lipstick-manparts symbolizes her sadness at not having one herself. The halo represents the fact that someone is a little too fond of the airbrush tool in Microsoft Paint. The small laser beams are in fact a 15th century Flemish symbol for Tron, which makes complete sense in the context of this work as a whole.

The angry rat symbolizes the bubonic plague. He’s pointing at her, so we can safely assume that she is a carrier. Or possibly she has his rat-manparts in her bag of doom.

The two children are a bit of a mystery. They are stylish enough to wear high top Converse All-Stars, but bizarrely choose trousers that seem to be held up magically by one giant button. They look slow. And that’s being generous. One is happy, one is… not. Therefore I conclude that they symbolize the classic Greek concepts of comedy and tragedy, as this entire work of “art” is both comic and tragic.

Despite obvious stylistic similarities to works from the Italian Renaissance (see below) I can only conclude that this is an example of Early 21st Century Crap.

Raphael - Cherubini
Fig. 1

Michelangelo  - Adam
Fig. 2

Entry Filed under: Art/Architecture,Palin,Politics,Republicans

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