Art through geek-colored glasses

by Eszter Hargittai on January 26, 2008

Some of these images are excellent. The level of geek quotient required to understand/appreciate them varies.

[Thanks to Ethan.]

UPDATE: The images have been deleted from Flickr. Thanks to Jacob for this link with an explanation. The pictures are available here (for now – Mon pm).

{ 2 trackbacks }

Art 2.0 at Jacob Christensen
01.26.08 at 3:47 pm
Art 2.0 or sacrilege? « Nothing That Meets The Eye
01.27.08 at 12:18 am



"Q" the Enchanter 01.26.08 at 4:35 pm

Very nice. In particular, the primal angst of Munch’s work has never seemed so transparent.


Martin Wisse 01.26.08 at 5:05 pm

No, it’s utter shit, a “hilarious” mix of classic art with lazy geek symbols that unfortunately fails to be funny.

This isn’t geeky, this is phony.


chris y 01.26.08 at 5:24 pm

One or two of them, like this are quite imaginative.


jim 01.27.08 at 2:38 am

The geek bit, I get. The understanding art bit, not so much. The annotations seem to me to miss the point.


Bloix 01.27.08 at 3:24 am

Sheesh. They’re just jokes, people. It’s LOLart. Although the Courbet did make my hair stand on end-


smaug 01.27.08 at 4:04 am

Re #3 see this story. This is art compared to that.


mq 01.27.08 at 4:32 am

Comment 3 is right. This is lame, labored, crap. Photoshop has a lot to answer for.


bad Jim 01.27.08 at 9:36 am

I liked it, especially the Caravaggios. A certain number I didn’t get (I’m old) but running through the full set was fun.

A suggestion for further attempts in this vein: more lolcat, less Paint. One painting I recall, of a martyr having his intestines wrapped around a spool, with his face showing nothing more than mild distaste, really needs relabeling, viz: “You know, this really is worse than flossing.”


Eszter 01.27.08 at 10:02 am

Jim, I agree that it’s not about understanding the art per se, that’s why I didn’t reproduce the title in this post. The annotations may well miss some point, but they may still be funny. (FYI, I don’t think they’re all that funny, but I think some of them are very amusing and made me laugh out loud.)

As far as I’m concerned, if you don’t find this entertaining then one or more of the following applies to you:
1. you don’t get the original art
2. you don’t get the geeky aspect added
3. you just have a very different sense of humor than many other people, a point I’m not about to start debating


GreatZamfir 01.27.08 at 2:37 pm

Brilliant. This is going to haunt museum visits for a long to time to come.

As for the people who appeared annoyed: it might be wise to see most of them as comment on the internet culture, not the original art.

On the other hand, the flash-movie dog might well be exactly what the Futurists were aspiring to.


andrew 01.27.08 at 5:27 pm

Very funny, thanks for the link.


pacing on a hypen 01.28.08 at 2:06 am

Okay, I’m with eszter: some did elicit a slight audible chuckle; however, it was directed more towards the people who can even look at one piece of art history and make such asinine associations let alone such a conglomeration.
I can’t help but wonder if the person who made this has any knowledge of art history at all.


mq 01.28.08 at 2:18 am

you don’t get the original art
you don’t get the geeky aspect added

Neither of these seem very possible, since the art is the old warhorses that anyone with the slightest knowledge of art history will “get” (what does it mean to “get” a piece of art anyway), and the jokes are for the most part crushingly obvious as well. How about, you just don’t think it’s very witty.


mq 01.28.08 at 2:19 am

sorry, I’m irritable tonight for other reasons.


novakant 01.28.08 at 7:13 am

Photoshop has a lot to answer for.

Yeah, so. does MS Word, lol.

But I agree that this stuff is pretty lame.


Katherine 01.28.08 at 9:50 am

Some of them I didn’t get (I’m not geeky enough), some of them I didn’t think were funny, but one or two did indeed make me LOL.

Y’know, if you don’t like them, you’re not obliged to laugh.


Norikazu 01.28.08 at 1:10 pm

It looks like the set is not available anymore. A post on Paul the Wine Guy’s weblog explains that he has taken all the images offline.


Paul 01.28.08 at 6:06 pm

Strange…I received a message that I did not have permission to view the page. (And yes, I do have a Flickr account…)


M. Gordon 01.28.08 at 11:21 pm

Same. It appears to have been made private.


Jacob Christensen 01.29.08 at 1:59 am

Explanation here: “Paul the Wine Guy: I’m not having fun anymore” (

No idea why I can’t write a proper link :-(


Eszter 01.29.08 at 4:40 am

Thanks, Jacob. Paul mentions that the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra had reprinted them on its Web site without credit. I found them there.


Martin Wisse 01.29.08 at 11:39 am

you don’t get the original art
you don’t get the geeky aspect added

Well no, I get it, I just think it’s phony, rote application of memes though up by cleverer people. As mg said, the art itself is not obscure, nor are the jokes.

“Ha-ha, let’s translate the message of these artworks into geek language”



Eszter 01.29.08 at 1:29 pm

mq & mg – I said “one or more of the following”, which includes the possibility that it’s only #3 so I don’t see why you deem it necessary to address #1 or #2.


Bloix 01.29.08 at 3:47 pm

My goodness there are some cranky people out there. Don’t you understand that when you lash out at this stuff you’re lashing out at Eszter? She’s the only one here. They’re just jokes, they’re not an insidious attack on the greatness of Western Civilization for Chrissake. Either laugh with those of us who think they’re funny or move along politely and dump your meanness somewhere else.

Comments on this entry are closed.