DATELINE: Twice-Told Lizards
Waldemar Janusczark returns for a second round of nasty interpretations of great works of art. The series is the veddy British Every Picture Tells a Story. He isn’t off much in his comments. After all, it’s art and open to criticism from a legitimate authority. He does it with aplomb and humor, if not deadpan accuracy.
Among the targets this time around are Da Vinci and Caravaggio, as well as Jan Van Eyke.
First up on the hit list is Caravaggio, known for his violent depictions of effeminate boys, mostly commissioned works for wealthy and gay bishops.
Caravaggio liked to use rough trade types from the streets of Rome in his religious depictions, and he also enjoyed using a younger version of himself as Bacchus, that god of dissipation and licentiousness.
So, Waldemar goes after Boy Bitten by Lizard. It may be one of the rare occasions when pontification about the symbol of the middle finger is at the heart of art.
Later, he tackles Da Vinci with a hatchet. There is no love for the great master as Waldemar notes how Mona Lisa is a marketing icon and a plump housewife whose critical appreciation is overwrought.
He also takes on The Marriage of Arnolfini, ridiculing anyone who says Mrs. Arnolfini is not pregnant in the picture. He goes even a step beyond to suggest that she is the victim of death in childbirth and that the portrait is posthumous, done as homage by her husband.
You cannot go wrong by hearing these takes on great art, and it will make you the center of attention at parties when you reveal what you have learned.