We all love iconic images and characters in comical situations, just search ‘Mona Lisa Parody’ and you’re flooded with images of the classic painting twisted and mishappen by the minds of comical individuals. Ms. Piggy Mona Lisa, Marge Simpson, Squidward, Zombie Mona Lisa and more… the parodies are limitless.
For anyone with no artistic skill to those fine artists who know just how many bristols are in their paint brushes, parody is a fun way to express even your most humorous side (I have the humor level of a cracked brick) and hopefully get a chuckle out of someone.
Parody doesn’t always have to illicit a response of jovial laughter (or pained chuckle), it can be a well done image that just garners a smile. It can be tasteful, tasteless or maybe even edible (see what I did there… taste – food…Okay proof I have no humor), but parody shouldn’t be relegated to only those artists who feel they are funny, it should extend to the serious artist, even those who paint magnificent portraits that make our jaws drop. It’s a practice of getting outside your art box or expanding on your comedy empire, and when you can get a smile out of the most serious of people, it’s a good feeling.
The key to a good parody is composition… oh wait, that’s the key to any good piece of art. So composition it is… cutting and pasting Ms. Piggy’s head on the Mona Lisa… well not really a great composition. Painting The Last Supper image into a TGIF, possibly offensive but what a great message… good composition even if commercialized.
The elements need to work well together, convey the artists message or try to get the viewer to create their own message, Ms. Piggy on the Mona Lisa to me just says… “he I tried, it sucks, I was bored and trying to ride the Mona Lisa search wave”. When I did my ‘December 65’ piece, I looked for elements that would work well together.
I looked at my favorite pin up artist Vargas, I looked at one of my favorite abstract artists; Lichtenstein and I tried to find a pop related icon to bring it all together. The result was a reproduction of Esquire Magazines December 1965 Vargas Pin Up, done in the Bendo Dot style of Lichtenstein, except it was Darth Vader sporting the skimpy Christmas bathing suit. There was no message to the viewer, it was about elements that worked well together, the composition of the piece and if it could make someone smile.
It did all of the above and that is when I discovered Parody could be something more than just a sarcastic comic strip or a caricature.
You can parody anything.. step outside your Manga box and try a well put together parody of recognizable images. Don’t do a crap Photoshop job either, take a minute and put some real effort into it.