Wednesday, August 19, 2009

ArtHausArt: La rage du perroquet

All the elements were in place for a relaxing evening at Le Perroquet: Duvel(s), check; Salade Atlantique, check; Good company, of course.

Then the rage broke out, the Jokerised photo de la grande Obama. Claims of "blanc hottes" and rednecks ruled the conversation. Whence your humble junior contributor mentioned that l'affiche de la délinquance was actually the product of a leftish (in a good way) Palestinian-rooted college senior in the US, consternation était affiché. Needless to say, links were exchanged:

When cryptic posters portraying President Obama as the Joker from "Batman" began popping up around Los Angeles and other cities, the question many asked was, Who is behind the image?

Was it an ultra-conservative grassroots group or a disgruntled street artist going against the grain?

Nope, it turns out, just a 20-year-old college student from Chicago.

Bored during his winter school break, Firas Alkhateeb, a senior history major at the University of Illinois, crafted the picture of Obama with the recognizable clown makeup using Adobe's Photoshop software.

Alkhateeb had been tinkering with the program to improve the looks of photos he had taken on his clunky Kodak camera. The Joker project was his grandest undertaking yet. Using a tutorial he'd found online about how to "Jokerize" portraits, he downloaded the October 23 Time Magazine cover of Obama and began digitally painting over it.

An added benefit, reading the quotes of one Shepard Fairey, artist/creator of those Hope posters, as well as the "Bush Vampire" motif. Leftist and artist, the thin-skin-o-meter is no longer is able to measure l'hypocrisie high-brow:

"I have my doubts about the person's intelligence," Fairey said on the phone from Pittsburgh. "It's not grammatically correct. It would be 'socialist' ... Obama is not Marx. He didn't create socialism." Semantics aside, "I don't agree with the political content of the poster," Fairey said. "They don't realize that Medicaid is a socialist program."

Many of us realise that Medicaid is a socialist/statist programme. Many of us also realise that others did not create "hope".

Lost in the entire discussion le Perroquet was the continued possibility of Robert Capa's famed Spanish Civil War photo, and hard left totem, being an absolute fake:

Just another night on the Bruxelles art scene. ¡No Pasarán!

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