Americus Video #3 - "Artwrecks" Talkback
Updated: Jan 16, 2021
Original Release Date: January 17, 2017
This was the final of three webcomics that debuted on DoorJam Creations. I made each of them in the autumn of 2016 and released them the following January.
While brainstorming ideas for my webcomics, I remembered back to my Spring 2014 term at Rutgers-Camden. I took a New Media Art class and one day, we watched a video in class. It was part of an old BBC miniseries, Ways of Seeing, hosted by John Berger. In it, he discussed how famous artworks' purposes can be altered from their original intentions as a result of changing how they're published, such as on TV or on a postcard. You can see the clip here:
It got me thinking of actual artworks being hideously misused against their intended purpose, like a massive painting being used as a key chain holder. Not a miniature reproduction of a painting—I mean the actual large painting, something that would be best suited for a museum!
I had developed this idea further to be a commercial for a product and developed the idea of Willie Days. Days is a parody of the late Billy Mays, known for being a loud, shouting pitchman, mainly for OxyClean; the Big City Slider; and others, and for being posthumous YouTube Poop fodder. Issues featuring Days are parodies of his commercials and, as evidenced in this very issue, are inspired by YouTube Poops of Billy Mays ads.
The artworks irrevocably damaged in this issue are:
Fifty Days at Iliam: Heroes of the Achaeans (1978) by Cy Twombly
Liberation of the Peon (1931) by José Diego María Rivera
Folding Screen (1946) by Charles Eames
The Battle of the USS “Kearsarge” and the CSS “Alabama” (1864) by Édouard Manet
Portrait of Dr. Samuel D. Gross (The Gross Clinic) (1875) by Thomas Eakins
Prometheus Bound (1618) by Peter Paul Rubens