View Full Version : I Think He Would Have Liked This

10-15-2007, 12:03 AM

Title: I Think He Would Have Liked This
Year Created: 2007
Medium: Oil
Surface: Board
Dimension: 24in x 24
Allow digital alterations?: Yes!

This is a "symbollic" portrait of an artist I like a lot. Comments appreciated, interested in seeing if people recognizes who it is. I used a lot of the symbols from his performance art.Let me know what you think

I like the colors a lot, but have some worries about he composition, especially the cane.

10-15-2007, 12:35 AM
It's obviously the guy who played Ralph Cramden's neighbor Ed Norton on "The Honeymooners".
That was easy.
Post another. This is fun!

10-15-2007, 07:33 AM
Interesting painting, I have no idea who he is, but like your style. Could be Dali like if you improve the realism and details.

10-15-2007, 08:18 AM
shucks I was thinking Gene Kelly but what do I know

10-15-2007, 09:34 AM
Heck, I was thinking Gene Autry, but he was a cowboy or something, and I don't think he used a cane.

I think it's about the guy who used a wooden puppet in his act...can't think of his name.... I think he was a child actor once.... no, not Mickey Rooney... I don't know if there was a dog in his act, though.... I actually never saw it, only heard of it...

Give us a hint: what's it rhyme with?

(is it the guy who was in the Bowery Boys movies and later killed his wife - allegedly? - probably not, just covering all bases here...)

Wait a second! It's that mime guy who died recently... did he walk with a limp, though? Or was that a fake limp, like when he's trapped in an invisible box or pretending to lean on something? (If it was that guy, you'd never be sure if he liked the picture, since he faked a lot of stuff and never really said much, sort of like the little guy in Penn & Teller.)

10-15-2007, 07:14 PM
Did Charlie Chaplin ..twirl a cane?...but never saw him on a horse..hmmm:)

10-16-2007, 12:28 AM
It is actually a German performance/conceptual artist who used live coyotes, felt blankets and literally tons of animal fat in his installations. He would hang out in these closed off roooms for days having conversations and even sharing a bed with live coyotes. The pork pie hat and cane are just attire he always wore.

His name is Joseph Beuys. His work was very odd, but all the symbols were from an experience he had after his plane was shot down in Russia during WWII. It was winter and a band of gypsies found him half frozen to death and wrapped him in felt and animal fat to bring up his body's temp., saving his life.
He was actually in the German air force, so was technically an enemy, but the Russian gypsies just saw that he needed help and gave it to him. After that, he defected to America and started making art based not only on acceptance and peace, but also the idea that should at least appreciate, if they are unable to create, art. Everyone person should be an artist, in some way was his philosophy.

Some of his work is lost on me, honestly, I think the animal fat meakes me uncomfortable. But that philosophy of the everyperson artist, I find to be glorious.

A few people mentioned cowboys; does the coyote read more like a horse? Is that why?

10-16-2007, 05:52 PM
Well, Vinny..you taught me something! I hadn't heard of Beuys before now. If the animal fat helped insulate him and saved his life...who's to question it? lol
Thanks for the explanation!

10-16-2007, 08:51 PM
I did an essay on Beuys when I was at Uni. I'm not a huge fan of recent installation art, but when it's created by someone who has had such extraordinary life experiences like Beuys had, the objects become very powerful personal symbols. This is a good idea, using the symbols that were integral to his work to make a cryptic portrait.

10-16-2007, 09:24 PM
Yeah when I saw the cane, I immediately thought Dali. But the other symbols didn't match. I remember learning of Beuys in college. Our professor put up photos of Beuys dressed in felt, with coyotes in the room with him. No one in the class could guess as to what it meant, and our professor wouldn't tell us :(
Anyways...I like the idea for this painting (sorry about the trip down memory lane)

10-16-2007, 10:53 PM
Like GavinD, I had to do a paper on Beuys for an "art appreciation" course. Talk about a challenge. Other than writing something interpretive about "The Earth Room" I can't remember being more stumped than when I had to figure out how Beuys related a coyote to the Vietnam War.
This painting didn't ring a bell of recognition for me, and still doesn't, other than that the felt on the right side somewhat resembles the wrap Beuys used in his "I Like America and America Likes Me" performance. I get what you're going after in this picture, but I really feel it's missing the mark by a wide margin.
Beuys had a spiritual connection to the extermination of species - symbolized to him by the eradication of the coyote and the systematic destruction and confinement of Native culture in the U.S. He was an important figure with an original and searing view of this country....he stood on principle, which is something that few artists can say about themselves if they look in their souls and take an inventory.

Nice try on this picture, but I'm not sure I agree that he would have seen anything more than artifacts of a struggle.