Pink Panther

Pink Panther by Jeff Koons

Pink Panther        
Jeff Koons (b. 1955)
Porcelain, 1988.

think she’s a mermaid?

CROE: maybe!
i hadn’t thought of that
i guess that might explain why a cat would hold on for dear life

TARBOT: yes, the PP does seem a bit spooked

CROE: you’d think he’d be a bit happier that close to her chest

TARBOT: well not all cats like to be picked up / held
though it is a bit odd that she’s half naked…
unless she IS a mermaid
in which case, it’d be ok

CROE: then she’s in her natural state

TARBOT: exactly

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Hard Slide

Hard Slide        
Les Kossatz (b. 1943 – d. 2011)
Sheepskins, aluminium, wood, leather and steel, 1980.

TARBOT: the top sheep is like “oh F**K”

CROE: it does look uncomfortable
though perhaps a nice back massage
the ports in and out make it look like a sequence of similar rooms, one after another

TARBOT: yeah
at first I was wondering if the top sheep and bottom sheep was the same… sheep
real sheepskins, btw
(yay taxidermy)

CROE: so it’s lifesize?
(yes, it’s about 3 x 4 meters)
baaaaahh clunk cuhlunk cuhlunk-lunk-lunk-lunk-lunk

it’s supposed to speak something in regards to/ about the Australian land
(the artist is Australian)
but I didn’t realize sheep were big down there

CROE: i’m now reading about rogue taxidermy

TARBOT: hahahaha
I dunno what that is, but it sounds funny

CROE: it’s stuffing things like “jackalope and the skvader, extinct species, mythical creatures such as dragons, chimeras, griffins, unicorns or mermaids, or may be entirely of the maker’s imagination. Some are made from parts of more than one kind of animal, or they may be artificially created. ”

TARBOT: oh so it’s like when artists paint creatures made out of different animal parts only … this is in 3d

CROE: and perhaps using actual body parts
hehheh, just wait til last post’s artist learns about this


Gazebo By The Water

Gazebo By The Water        
Leonid Afremov (b. 1955)
Oil on Canvas, unknown.

CROE: so many colors!

TARBOT: I know, isn’t it absolutely delightful?
it makes me feel like I’m swimming in joy every time I look at it

CROE: it’s fun to look at from many distances, far away, and then zoomed in you can see all the spatula strokes, if that’s what they are called

TARBOT: yes, I love the bold strokes
it’s as if they bring motion and life to the whole thing

CROE: there’s a lot of different colors on each one
one thing that’s cool about it is the colors are so bright and vivid, yet it has a nighttime/evening feel
if you look in the reflection in the water of the structure with columns
there’s a yellow object

TARBOT: oooh, yeah
looks like there’s lots of different things in the reflections
that aren’t in the “real life” part of it
like near the center, in the water it looks much redder
but nothing really red on the ground to reflect it
just more white, green
something that looks like a gray box
so the artist
he utilizes knives
in his brush strokes

CROE: yeah?
like what kind of knives


CROE: well it’s not pointy
so i’m disappointed

they can be

CROE: that was what i was thinking of when i said spatula
in a vague sort of way


CROE: i wasn’t sure what they were called
if you look at the record, you’ll see that i did qualify my statement
unless i typed that, and deleted it
which is possible

Alien Abduction

Alien Abduction        
George Condo (b. 1957)
Paint, 1995.

it’s like … a nightmarish re-envisioning of the mona lisa
so the red stuff
that’s blood?
kinda reminds me of strawberry sauce
just ’cause the rest of it sorta has a slight cartoony feel
and I just had a Snickers
so sugar’s on my mind

CROE: maybe alien saliva tastes like strawberries
or maybe he’s coating his dessert (the lady) with strawberry sauce
he’s fixin’ up his gourmet alien feast

Your monsters are just like mine

Your monsters are just like mine        
Gehard Demetz (b. 1972)
Wood, 2006.

CROE: from some angles, it looks like it could be part of a childhood game
from other angles not so much

it’s made out of wood
though not sure about the yellow bit
looks like plastic
but maybe it’s just paint
the face is really well sculpted out of the wood though
strong emotion!

CROE: what emotion do you see?
she kind of looks like she’s listening to instructions with her eyes closed

TARBOT: yeah it looks like she’s waiting, listening for something
this is called
“Your monsters are just like mine”

CROE: huh
it makes it more disturbing
but i still don’t know what it means

TARBOT: I know! isn’t it utterly fascinating?
from his site:
One of the most startling technical features is the construction using small woodblocks and juxtaposing finely polished parts to very rough and sketchy surfaces. This particular construction and treatment render his sculptures absolutely unique in the domain of contemporary wood sculpture and is partly responsible for the great curiosity aroused by the appearance of his work in the art world.
so I guess that explains that part.
in which case it’s just part of the way he does his art, but still unsure as to what it means
at first I’d say she’s “decomposing” or “disappearing” because of the gaps
the yellow tape is reminiscent of the police tape “do not cross”
maybe it’s that she feels restrained, trapped, has no freedom
children can feel that way, especially if they’re growing up in difficult circumstances/environment
but so can adults
so maybe that’s what the title is referring to
regardless of who’s looking at her, everyone is afraid of being restricted, having their freedom taken away

The Iceberg

The Iceberg        
Scott Listfield (b. unknown)
Oil on Canvas, 2007.

CROE: the dissonance is making my brain hurt


CROE: ok, so i can actually imagine mcdonalds taking over the earth to the point where they are selling to polar bears in the arctic
but…the astronaut?

TARBOT: hehe
it’s like, his theme or whatnot

CROE: all of his stuff has astronauts?

TARBOT: dinosaurs too

CROE: i’m kind of imagining the artist puts a bunch of words in a hat, doesn’t know what to do today, and pulls out two: iceberg and fastfood
i don’t think i’ve ever seen one sitting down
but where’s the dinosaur?

TARBOT: hehe
well I don’t think they’re always in the same picture
maybe this is a future rest stop
on the “highway”
the highway in this case being a “waterway”
or maybe it’s another planet!
and it’s a rest stop for ships!

CROE: ooo, speaking of future rest stops
since the arctic is melting, there’s this bunch of people that are betting there will be an a new, more direct passage

TARBOT: to what?

CROE: for shipping
comparison routes

TARBOT: oooh

40 Ounces of Personal Hygiene

40 Ounces of Personal Hygiene        
Kevin Peterson (b. 1980)
Oil on Canvas, 2009.

TARBOT: what …
going on?
so… gas station.
is that gas floating around or did a river overflow?
I can see why the man’s taken to drinking and smoking

CROE: so malt liquor comes in 40-ounce containers
i think he’s bathing in it
but why he has a pig-face, that i can’t tell you

TARBOT: the wrinkles on his face are frightening
wonder why there’s an empty jar
floating around

CROE: so the jar…
it’s closed and floating. it looks cleaner than everything else…
it’s floating away.
maybe it’s repulsed by the dude

TARBOT: what’s with the title? … is it saying this man HAS no personal hygiene
like, he peed in the water/gasoline?
as one does in a pool?

More of this enthralling commentary here …

The Light Fantastic

The Light Fantastic        
Reid Southen (b. 1988)
Digital, unknown.

TARBOT: which planet would YOU want to live on?

CROE: it’s kind of hard to tell
i mean, we can only see the night side of the “small” one
i’d like to see it in full day-light before making any binding decisions, thank you very much

TARBOT: hehe
I wouldn’t be able to survive very long on the planet on the left
don’t know how to start fires
much less hunt / cook

CROE: but if you live on the green and blue planet, you get to stare at the pretty one with circles

TARBOT: the circles of light on that smaller planet *are* intriguing
don’t usually see such geometry expressed on Earth

CROE: i dunno, everyone always complains about traffic in the DC beltway
it’s kinda like I-95 around boston
but taken to extremes


More of this enthralling commentary here …

Le Violon d’Ingres

Le Violon d’Ingres (Ingres’s Violin)        
Man Ray (1890 – 1976)
Photographic Print of Paint on a Photographic Print, 1924.

CROE: it’s like photoshop. before there was photoshop.

interesting that she’s got a hat on
or a … turban
or something
classic female shape — good birthing hips
not entirely sure why those particular symbols

CROE: it’s like a violin…
also, the blurb suggests that the title, Le Violon d’Ingres, is a French idiom that means hobby, so playing the violin was Ingres’s hobby, and playing Ingres was the artist’s hobby…

I’m still confused by her hat
maybe she was having a bad hair day
and she insisted on wearing it
and he was like
*shrug * ok

CROE: especially given whatever activity they were likely partaking in immediately prior to the photo
i can see that her hair might not look at its best

TARBOT: hahahahaha

Contest of Champions II

Contest of Champions II        
Edward Del Rosario (b. 1970)
Oil on linen on board, 2007.

CROE: this is bizarre
the rug? the ref in an argyle sweater? the blue background kinda makes it look like they are all floating in space
they really could wear shoes better suited to this type of activity

TARBOT: “what kind of dinner party IS this?!?” haha

CROE: and does the devil-woman with horns have a double?
or maybe there are three? because the legs over on the right are wearing the same shoes…

TARBOT: well maybe they’re all red shoes but with slight differences
visible only to shoe connoisseurs

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Self Portrait

Self Portrait        
Shaun Tan (b. 1974)
Oil, ~2003.

TARBOT: that’s pretty cool
I like meta-stuff
wondering what all the birds are about
bird lover maybe?

CROE: maybe. it seems like pigeons or sparrows would be more likely on a city street
but i prefer the revision of reality to bright orange cheery-birds
she has three colors of paint
but has only used one
maybe so far she’s only figured out her outline?
but she plans to fill it all in at some point?
as she figures out who she is

TARBOT: ooo that’s neat, I like that
it looks like a little kid playing with crayons or something
very childish (not like immature)
but high in imagination content / potential type thing
the “a” and “b” on the wall are interesting

CROE: yeah

TARBOT: she started to learn how to write, but decided painting/drawing was more fun hehe

CROE: haha!


Can Not Prevent It, But There Is No Need To Prevent It         
Ryohei Hase (b. ~1982)
Digital, April 2007.

CROE: i feel like there needs to be an accompanying sound effect

TARBOT: what kind were you thinking?

CROE: well zap doesn’t seem to quite cut it
since it’s a rain storm, lightning seems like the obvious culprit
but i think lightning leaves more of charred mess.
this looks more like an alien space weapon
maybe they use the rainstorm as cover!

I was seeing it more as — either of two options:
1 – this woman lives in a desolate place
and feels like she’s about to burst into flames
just to feel some life

CROE: oooh i like number 1

TARBOT: or 2 –
the world is fine, but she’s not and feels like death is the best alternative
so she’s dying as the other people are going about their daily lives

CROE: ah, so she’s chosen to explode!
points for creativity!

TARBOT: spontaneous human combustion
it’s been known to occur
don’t let the “hearsay” bit fool you

CROE: i like all the details on her outfit, like her shoes! and the ruffles on the umbrella

TARBOT: I can barely make out her shoes

CROE: haha! i think my imagination was adding a lot to her shoes

“Can not prevent it, but there is no need to prevent it”
what do you think “it” is?

CROE: i don’t know!
i wondered if it was a mistranslation from the japanese?
well i mean, it could go with the lightning strike
but she didn’t mind
it combines our theories

TARBOT: I think you can make out part of her face
the lower half
she doesn’t seem to be screaming out in agony or anything like that :)

CROE: i think the way shes standing, purposefully
rather than walking
gives support to your hypothesis
either that, or she knew the aliens were coming

The Birth

The Birth        
Mark Ryden (b. 1963)
Oil, 1994.

CROE: it’s actually by an artist i’m familiar with
chris likes this guy a lot.

TARBOT: oh nice haha
“the birth”
def. not what I thought when I first saw it
looked more like the … mouse (or whatever) was somehow donating something to the parsnip
like… blood
how incredibly bizarre
wonder what that contraption is – in the nurse’s hands

CROE: i dunno – it looks like a generator or a pump
can’t the doctor put on some gloves?

TARBOT: srsly.
he’s all over that umbilical cord without a care in the world

CROE: i would have thought the parsnip would have looked a little more surprised, given the difference in appearance between her and her child

maybe she’s one half of an inter-species couple

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Fountain 2

Fountain 2        
James Jean (b. 1979)
Oil on Paper, 2008

CROE: and here we have the final piece of our wing-themed week

TARBOT: w.o.w.
well, first off… what happened to his legs?
seems… biblical somehow

CROE: he appears to be doing ok without them

TARBOT: we don’t really see her eyes either

CROE: but we do see the eye from the skull under the fountain

TARBOT: uh huh
overall I think I like it
it’s got some … interesting details
is the artist saying women are … death? evil ?

CROE: what do you think of the creatures holding up the fountain

TARBOT: slaves?

CROE: other possibilities that occur too
it’s the fountain of youth, and it was an old man that was drinking the water, and he’s turned young
the water is so delicious he feels like he’s floating


CROE: the colors of the background remind me a bit of vomit. which maybe is sort of suggested by the fountain water coming out of the angels mouth

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Gothic Victorian Taxidermy Bat Wing 24K Gilt Skull Necklace        
Loved to Death (created ~2008)
Taxidermy jewelry, 24k gilt, 2010.

TARBOT: the necklace…
which is, btw, made out of real bat wings

CROE: oh. my. god.
loved to death, eh

TARBOT: I’d be afraid the ghost of christmas bat would come haunt me while I was sleeping
overall it’s pretty well executed
or so it seems anyway
I wonder what “treated” means
ooooh, you think she kills the bats for her creations?
or just finds dead ones ?

CROE: i dunno…
maybe she turns her enemies into bats
and THEN kills them

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Chicken Wings

Chicken Wings        
Michael Bedard (b. 1949)
Lithograph, 1979

TARBOT: oh my haha
he seems pleased with the operation

CROE: lol!
that he does

TARBOT: it could be that it’s CGI…
and he’s up against a blue screen
only pretending

CROE: you’ve probably seen others by the same guy
they all have a bit of a cgi look to them
but they are from the 70s and 80s
ahead of his time i guess

TARBOT: kinda makes me wanna go EAT chicken
does that make me a terrible person?
looks like Chick Fil A or KFC though
the bright yummy-inducing colors

CROE: maybe you’re in the mood for chicken wings?

The Dragon Without Saint George

The Dragon Without Saint George        
Andrés Nagel (b. 1947)
Cast iron, 1983

CROE: and here it is from the back

CROE: it’s in an industrial park
you can climb up the stairs in the mouth
there is a slide in the tail
and also in at least one wing!

CROE: thank you Lauren P. Forbes for your photo!

TARBOT: oh interesting
looks like two dragons on the left there

CROE: perhaps it is a three-headed dragon
i want to see the business folks in their suits sliding down the slides

TARBOT: haha
I wonder when it became popular for abstract sculptures to be part of corporate complexes

CROE: maybe grownups want playgrounds too
and if it is “art” then it’s ok
but they’d feel silly with a regular jungle gym

TARBOT: kinda dreary if you ask me … gray dragons as a playground?

CROE: dreary is a word that i think describes many office parks well
it’s just fitting in!

TARBOT: hahaha

CROE: well in the tale st. george slays the dragon
what’s more dreary than that?


CROE: although i guess it depends on who you’re rooting for…the dragon or st. george

TARBOT: I’m rooting for the business men and women
work is stressful enough
no need to add fire breathing dragons into the mix


Jason de Caires Taylor (b. 1974)
Cement as artificial reef, unknown date

TARBOT: It’s called Vicissitudes
(which, I had to look up)
They’re 4.5 meters underwater

CROE: if i was swimming along and i saw that, i would be pretty creeped out
where is it located?

TARBOT: Grenada, West Indies

CROE: Frederick Douglas has a chapter in his book titled The Vicissitudes of Slave Life
could they be slaves that fell off a boat?

TARBOT: oh my
they do look like they have shackles on their wrists
there’s just two types of “people” though
in the circle
as if they were copy-pasted
the artist must have been like, welp … I don’t got time to do more, so … Ctrl-C

More of this enthralling commentary here …


Skot Olsen (b. 1969)
Oil on Board, 2008

CROE: today we begin the ocean theme, per your request

TARBOT: oh holy bajeeeesus.

CROE: that would be a good name for it!

TARBOT: so it looks like the artist has several favorite animals
and he couldn’t choose which to portray
thus combined them all

CROE: i know! the cow belly just cracks me up!
plus i feel like the spout makes it a cutesy bunny rabbit

TARBOT: plus the “arms/hands” that you wouldn’t normally see in a fish

CROE: yeah what are those?

TARBOT: or other sea faring animal
T-rex style

CROE: did they have fingernails?

TARBOT: they didn’t have hands as far as I know
tractor beams from the eyes … very space-agey

CROE: :)
i kinda get a feeling the holy bajeesus whale monster is about to barf on the ship

TARBOT: a-hahahahaha
I can see that

CROE: maybe it finds the ship as revolting as we find the monster

More of this enthralling commentary here …

Cake of Bad Feng Shui

Cake of Bad Feng Shui        
Scott Hove (b. before 1985)
Acrylic and Mixed Media on Polyurethane Foam, 2010

TARBOT: oh good god
“In Mother Russia, you don’t eat cake. Cake eats you!!”

CROE: rawr

TARBOT: that’s a painting?
no it’s a …
3-d cake look a like right?

CROE: some of it is paint
yeah, it’s 3-d. there’s foam involved

TARBOT: this one reminds me of the alien in … Alien

CROE: did you see the mouth within a mouth

TARBOT: yes, um, that’s why the reference to the alien… from Alien

CROE: right
it sold for $3,800


More of this enthralling commentary here …