The New Ambassadors

2000, 94 x 212 cm (4 x 94 x 53 cm), oil on canvas, price on request

Holbein’s skull has given it’s place to Mickey Mouse.

New Ambassadors: Mickey Mouse

This quadriptych which is an homage to Hans Holbein, juxtaposes pieces, or fragments. I avoid in this way a single painting, too stiff, too definitive. The form projected on the two last paintings is an allusion to the famous Vanitas in “The Ambassadors” by Hans Holbein. Only the skull is replaced by Mickey Mouse, like a shadow of the End of Art in the mass culture.

The first panel reproduces a postcard of Johnny Weissmuller in the role of Tarzan (a classic film). The second panel is based on the famous painting from Polish socialist realism, Give me a brick! by Aleksander Kobzdej. The graffiti on the wall quotes the title of this work. In the next panel, cliché of clichés, Einstein is showing his tongue. Finally, the richest monopolist in the world, Bill Gates, smiles to us from a museum. This hero of capitalism “made in Silicon Valley” probably likes posing as a cultivated man: did he not pay a fortune for some Leonardo da Vinci drawings? The sublimity of the artistic supplément d’âme is proportional to its price.

I extracted raw materials for this work from the media environment, which pullulates with images. So these “new ambassadors” represent the surplus of cultural production, or inflations of the imitation.

May a painter be witty?

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