Welcome back to our new series, The Googleheim Institute! In which our friend the Red Beard Rambler takes a crack at professional art critiquing – based solely on 20-minute Google Image Searches and without any background on the artist before hand.
As always, this is going to be interesting.
His next victim: Sylvester Stallone
Ahhh – this one is going to being back some serious memories. Planet Hollywood. Florida as the best place on the earth. Space Mountain at least seven times. Medieval times (pre-Cable Guy).
When someone asks you what time it is you should always say, without hesitation or a smirk, “Hercules O’Clock.” Because it is always Hercules O’Clock.
I very seriously wish this piece were about art involving, depicting, and/or sanctifying Sylvester Stallone. I think there would be some very good pieces to evaluate and a lot of interesting banter about just how important a borderline idiotic muscleman has truly meant to American culture over the past 30 years. Alas, the truth is far darker…
I’ll admit for this seminar I had to Google “Sylvester Stallone Art” as opposed to the normal name search – since he didn’t paint Rambo or Rocky, nor star in anything called “Stop, or My Mom Will Paint”, fantastic though that idea may be.
Yes, my Googleheim students, Sly is a painter. He actually paints stuff and we should actually be pretty happy about that. Not sure we should rejoice in the works themselves, but just the exposure it gives to the arts and hopefully (pleeeeease) the exposure it gives to artists with palpable talent.
So anyway let’s get into the myth/legend/glory that is Hercules O’Clock. First, here it is:
Ok. First off, the media: acrylic/oil on t-shirt. It’s a strong guy (Hercules, maybe??) that is kind of flexing, but wait – what’s that just below him and to the right – a CLOCK? No. No, please. Don’t tell me that your Herculean body will only last so long, Sly – it can’t be true! You still have to make Rocky Balboa 2!!
I’m not sure it’s worth my time to critique the actual work, mostly because I’m drawn to how freakishly shitty his signature is. First off, if you’re going to bother writing your entire name out in a signature (which everyone knows after seeing a doctor you do not do) at least get the initials right! The “S”s look like cursive “Z”s, and we all know how much people give a shit about cursive capital “Z”s. Second, he’s put an insane amount of pressure on himself to forever sign everything with this ridiculous designation that probably takes on average 20 seconds to create, 35 seconds if using a Sharpie!! Anyway. I remember making fun of this shirt the last time I was at Planet Hollywood, when I was 13. I’m over it.
Let’s give Sly one last chance – perhaps a work not emblazoned on a cotton blend youth large “Jerzees” tee.
I was going to critique this piece in my unqualified, snarky, rambling way. Instead, I’m going to skip to something more important: I now officially feel bad for art critics. This is a tough assignment – what if, gasp, Sylvester Stallone were actually a good painter? Would a highly-respected art critic get away with saying so? This really pushed me to realize that the context of the art we look at is so important, so distracting, and at times so very distorting.
The point is, knowing what you know about Stallone, how could you possibly be objective about his work? You may tend to overvalue it because it is done by an actor, a celebrity, a sort of muscle-clad dum-dum we all love for things far removed from intelligent symbolic discourse. But, you may critically destroy what may be passable creative expression for the very same reasons. Where the fuck is Adrian?
The Red Beard Rambler explores the world of mostly sports from a perspective most non-sports fans can most appreciate, mostly.