David Thompson


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November 16, 2009



Wow. That's deep. I'm converting to socialism.


It only works on one level really.


I think both the level and the adjoining wall are required. I'd love this as a bookend, provided it was scaled down or my books were scaled up to match.



Since it was the Bear triumphing it misses it's target totally.

Do artists do zero research?


My own interpretation is that this is a homage to capitalism (personified by the supercharged bull) crushing socialism (the horned flabby man in workers-jeans).

As the creator is Chinese, we should probably give him some slack for mixing metaphors.

I expect the same, of course.



Its one great big fart joke!


Is that cauliflower?


'A Load of Guff' might be another title.

Apparently the horned figure is Bernie Madoff, the bull is the bull of Wall Street, natch, and its wind 'not only refers to the ending of people’s greedy brag, but also symbolizes the danger of virtual bubbles in the international financial center.'

In other words it's a political cartoon. The question is, why did the artist need to make it six metres tall? Is it because what he is saying is SO true that it has to be THAT big ... or is it because he's not really convinced himself?


The thing is, as a mass-produced fart joke novelty item it could have been moderately effective, as fart joke novelty items go. But as Biting Political Commentary™ it just... blows. Like so much contemporary art, it has ideas way above its station. If it stuck to being what it actually is – mildly diverting throwaway tat – there’d be little to grumble about. But self-important kitsch is always a non-starter. I’ve nothing against kitsch per se – my bookshelves house a burly talking Batman doll, Japanese hand warmers and a Borg cube, complete with cheesy tractor beam noise. I quite like throwaway tat. But if kitsch starts getting pretentious and calling itself art it loses all of its appeal.


I really like some of Takashi Murakami's work, which mixes up kitsch and high art - modern Japanese manga, the Smurfs and traditional Japanese art, all rolled into one. Murakami's "My Lonesome Cowboy" (I'll let you google image search it!) might seem to be in the same category as the present example. But I think it's much better. Murakami doesn't tell us what to we're supposed to think, for one thing…


Seems like quite a fun piece, no?



There's not telling people what to think, as there's not thinking/researching before you "put pen to paper".

It's "not even wrong".



“Murakami’s ‘My Lonesome Cowboy’ ...might seem to be in the same category as the present example.”

Yes, I remember that particular, er, work. Didn’t it sell for about $15 million? But even without the usual political pretensions and generic art bollocks, the same problem remains. It’s much too forced and self-conscious - and trying to be scandalous - in exactly the way that “authentic” amusing kitsch isn’t.



Seems like one of those boat-in-the-basement projects, though ... I mean, it looks sort of neat, but how many places are you going to be able to take it to show it off?


It would be funnier without the "meaning".


It would be meaningless if it were not funny?


No wait, I get it... America the great Satan (in tight trousers) is destroyed -- or mildly thrilled –– by the latest weapon of the working class. Beware: methane-propelled bulls will be launched as soon as possible.


I thought it was a reference to the fiscal stimulus measures, constructed (in some people's minds) on hot air, and horning the very people it was intended to assist.

As such, it's a critique of Keynsianism and *supportive* of global capitalism. :)

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