Monsieur Mystère Moderne 1

Contemporary Modern Series, No. 18

  • Size: 14″ x 14″ x 1.5″
  • Substrate: Canvas
  • Medium: Oil pen on Acrylic

The classification and production of modern art and post modern art is a tricky one for me, especially because it denotes not only a style dictation, but a time period of when it happened. I always feel that painting in the likes of a period is like turning in an assignment that was past due (and in this case, the assignment was due before I was born). Granted, as artists, we are allowed to pick and choose our aesthetic, but I’m always wanting to be a part of something as its happening, and not as its happened. In this case, Modern art.

This piece was influenced by Paul Mavrides, whose series set the “whoopie cushion” on modern art, in relation to the “Nancy” comic strip. His pieces were a humorous (yet very POWERFUL) statement on fixing or reinventing the image that clearly wasn’t broken to begin with. Here, we have an iconic face, the button/pie eyed Mickey who needs no explaining or fixing. The classic Mickey (in relation to fine art) never needs change, because his face is familiar, and that familiarity is comfortable. However, as times change, the face of animation and Mickey changes. His ‘rubber hose’ arms tighten, his eyes grow human pupils, and over the years his objective cartoon nature becomes more human, AND THAT change itself is comfortable to people because it relates the character CLOSER to the viewer in their own similarity. Change Mickey’s features in ANY other way that is unparalleled to the human world, and there is chaos. Change him drastically more into a human being, there is no question.

This piece is about unparalleled change of the icon, and how it translates a sub-objective nature to communicate in code to the viewer. Yes, the words aren’t in order, but your brain translates the name. And even further in our times, where “L33t 5P34k”  (Elite Speak) is a form of new communication, Mickey says “0# 804′, which translates to “OH BOY!” to the viewer who understands this future language.


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