Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog (Philip Reinagle, 1805)
“Much argument has been made over the meaning of this image. It has been seen as an exemplar of successful spaniel breeding, as a satire on human infant prodigies, or as loyalist propaganda (the music is sometimes identified as ‘God save the King/Queen’). Without a doubt, however, the artist must have had a strong general appreciation for the remarkable intelligence of dogs if not a somewhat comic attitude to this ‘extraordinary’ specimen.”
See this at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Most of what is awesome about this picture basically revolves around the fact that it is from 1805, when a good picture of anything was kind of hard to come by. You needed an artist and you had to pay him. Somebody paid Philip Reinagle to make this (or he made it for his own pleasure or because he thought he could sell it), we really do not know why it was made, and that is hilarious.
I mean, today we produce a million times more stuff that has no earthly reason to exist, and lots that stuff is hilarious too, but I still think this the mystery of this piano-playing dog from 1805 is funnier than any piano-playing dog could be in 2011 because HE MIGHT HIDE SOME SECRET SIGNIFICANCE. Or maybe this picture is just a totally insipid joke. It’s the not-knowing that makes it so good.
This is probably one of those situations where I am making this way less amusing by going on about it and I should have gone to bed a while ago.
A story about a story, 1989
gelatin silver print with hand applied text
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy!
Did you hear the news?
King Cat #74 pre-orders are up!
from Hannah Arendt’s The Nature of Totalitarianism: Essays in Understanding.
things that don’t make it
It’s like not actually having any limbs and being given a bow and arrow and told to shoot it at a target you don’t even see because also you don’t have a head you are just a raw and bleeding torso.
But still it feels great to open your heart out to possibility like that.
LA-based artist Dave Muller created this acrylic on paper piece entitled ‘Self Portrait at Jake’s (Yesterday and Today)’ (2013).
"Though social at his core, Muller avoids direct portrayal of people, choosing instead to direct our attention to the objects and ephemera left in their wake. Tracing elements of humanity through the unique stamp we each leave on the material world, he constructs an intricate multi-faceted portrait of both individuals and society as whole.”
Found via The Jealous Curator.