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Topple the statues!

Possibly the best meme ever, courtesy of Tyler Green over at the Modern Art Notes blog: name three U.S. politicians and the works of art to which I'd like to see them chained (the reference is to Italy, and if you are not resident in the US, feel free to adapt to local conditions).

So. This is surprisingly difficult. Or at least, it’s surprisingly difficult to avoid cheap shots, such as chaining Dick Cheney to Slide Rock and then throwing art and veep into the ocean together.

  • I’d rather like to Senator Diane Feinstein to chain herself to Robert Arneson’s sculpture of George Moscone for a while. No particular political point, but boy, wouldn’t that be something?
  • Somebody has got to be chained to the Statue of Liberty, but who? Rudy Giuliani? Tom Tancredo? Alberto Gonzales? No, forget the Statue of Liberty, I want Mitt Romney to chain himself to Daniel Chester French’s statue of William Lloyd Garrison on Commonwealth Avenue: “I am in earnest -- I will not equivocate -- I will not excuse -- I will not retreat a single inch -- AND I WILL BE HEARD”. Hee hee.
  • I’d like the eventual Democratic Party nominee for President next summer to chain herself (or himself) to Norman Rockwell’s Four Freedoms.
  • Your turn, Gentle Readers.


Is the idea that the politician would learn something from the work of art, or that the audience would learn something from the pairing, or simply that chaining politicians to something is fun?

Joe Lieberman: Caravaggio's Narcissus
Alberto Gonzalez: Rodin's Gates of Hell
Statue of Liberty: Millais' Ophelia

Well, MY goal would be the humiliation of the politician and the ire of his constituency. The goal of epiphany in politician or viewer is good, but unnecessary. Besides, what politician ever learned anything?

SO -

Sam Brownback: the Piss Christ

Raymond Finney : The Ascent of Man, Boris Artzybasheff

Rick Santorum : Portfolio X, Robert Mapplethorpe


I thought politicians were constitutionally incapable of being humiliated?

My goals were mostly to create a new work of art from the conjuncture (is that a word?) of the old work and the politician. And the chains. The work itself (Untitled 2008: multimedia, granite, fabric, politician) may, like any artwork, be instructive, persuasive, or comic. Or all three.

But then, it ain't my meme to dictate. It's yours, now.


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