Thursday, May 22, 2008

Brain Teaser for a Hurried Thursday

Nutso busy today, so I'll have to keep this short. Still, based on an observation a good friend made while viewing the Courbet exhibition that just closed at the Met, I've been obsessed with the following sort of mental challenge--based on those awfully annoying aptitude test questions, such as:

Apple is to Orange as Chalk is to

a) Caboose
b) Cheese
c) Charity
d) Chalkboard

(OK, so that's a bit too British a question perhaps...the answer is B).

Only this time, I'm not supplying the options...the whole of art history is your playground.

Here's the question though:

is to


is to...what?

Labels: brain teaser


OpenID twhid said...


5/22/2008 11:48:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

good call, yes...but which image? (This would be my choice)

Also, I should note, I don't think there's only one correct answer...some I can think of touch on two or more parallels, others are simply more funny.

5/22/2008 11:52:00 AM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

oops...bad html.

this is the Warhol, among a few possibilities, some funnier than others, I would sumbit...but there are other artists with parallels as well.

5/22/2008 11:54:00 AM  
OpenID twhid said...

I was thinking this for some reason.

or this

5/22/2008 11:59:00 AM  
OpenID ericgelber said...

Is to...

5/22/2008 12:37:00 PM  
OpenID dorfmeister said...

First thing that came to my mind is this.

5/22/2008 12:46:00 PM  
Blogger dan richards said...

That's easy.....
Salvador Dali is to Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean

as Damien Hurst and "For the Love of God" is to...

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

5/22/2008 12:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


5/22/2008 01:16:00 PM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

Dali is to Courbet
as Hirst is to Jan Fabre

5/22/2008 01:29:00 PM  
Blogger Joseph Giannasio said...

Forest Gump

Life is like a blinged out skull

5/22/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Salvador Dali is to Gustave Courbet, as Damien Hirst is to Thomas Kinkade, no, Salvador Dali... Ed Winkleman? (Mickey Mouse.)

5/22/2008 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Sean Capone said...

Re: Dan Richards' "Jack Sparrow...Indiana Jones", dammit Dan I was just going to post that very same joke! Beat me to the punch, good one.
'Pirates of the Caribbean IV: The Voyage to The Origin of the World'. haha

5/22/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If I had time I'd find a photo of Liberace in his spangled cape - the same tackiness, inexplicable success, etc...

Can you guess I dislike Hirst?

5/22/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger mbuitron said...

One could compare these artists as similarly marketing themselves, using the art market as subject matter, or just being market savvy. I would say Dali is to Courbet as Warhol is to Hirst, not the other way 'round.

If I had to pick another living artist to go with Hirst, I would go for this image:

5/22/2008 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

Under these circumstances, experts believe that successfully crafting a shape as complex as the Mitchell-Hedges skull is impossible; as one HP researcher is said to have remarked, "The damned thing simply shouldn't be."

5/22/2008 03:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Warhol is very funny.

No ax grinding. It's just cute.

5/22/2008 04:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a cool skull:

5/22/2008 04:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't get it. is the premise that dali and courbet have a lot in common?

5/22/2008 04:56:00 PM  
Anonymous nemastoma said...

Perhaps: All 4 have humongous egos, but:

-Dali didn’t take his art seriously; Courbet did.
-Dali only cared about himself; Courbet admired his artist elders.
-Dali’s art is not solid, not earthy, not gut-like, not strong; Courbet’s is, for the most part.
-Dali seems to have been a man of small appetites; Courbet is larger than life, with an extraordinary lust for life.

Likewise, perhaps

-Hirst doesn’t take his art seriously either; Fabre does (see his current exhibit in the Louvre, a tribute of love, admiration and humility towards the great northern Netherlandish painters).
-Hirst mostly focuses on a finite approach to death (pessimism and irony?); Fabre on resurrection and renewal from death through metamorphosis, through a continuum between life and death (optimism and non-irony?).
-Hirst constricts the mind, Fabre expands it (at least mine).

The latter two people in each category seem so much more complex, multidimensional and interesting than the first two.

5/22/2008 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Edward_ said...

i don't get it. is the premise that dali and courbet have a lot in common?

The premise for me is merely a visual one. The wild-eyed self-portrait of the mustached artist conveying his abundance of passion and bohemian leanings by Dali is a direct descendant of Courbet's (one might say an appropriation, actually).

So, to me, the question becomes is there a precedent that explains/anticipated the Hirst portrait. The Warhols suggest "yes, perhaps Damien was thinking of the artist and skull piece Andy did when posing for this photo."

But really, it takes all the fun out of the exercise if you're not free to make the connections that occur to you automatically.

5/22/2008 06:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The question refers to the fact that realism is prescient to surréalism.

I suppose the answer would be an artist using a same medium as Hirst, not exactly a trend starter than part of a trend (Hirst didn't start a movement like Courbet and Dali did), and whose work Hirst both refer to and oppose in his own work.

I can't recall Koons making a skull, but to me Hirst has picked on a lot of Koons ideas (glossy vitrines with aseptic (or medicinal) content, floating objects, kitsch, etc...). While Koons celebrate life and luxuries to some degrees, Hirst reverse his project in quite cynical terms.

I don't think Pop is enough to explain both Koons and Hirst (to me, Koons takes even more from Judd than Warhol).

Warhol was about access, art being as mass produced as he could achieve it. I think both Koons and Hirst on the contrary use luxury as as a prism to question essential issues about life and death. The child and the elder.

Cedric Caspesyan

5/22/2008 06:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... meant to look at the picture ?
Literally ?

Errr..ok.... in that case Hirst is to Mapplethorpe.

(the self-portrait with skull)


5/22/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Anonymous Eva said...

Gabriel Orozco came to my mind automatically...maybe because both works got quite large media attention

5/22/2008 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

cool- was not familiar with the andy warhol self-portrait with skull nor the maplethorpe self-portrait with skull... the aztec/mayan turquoise overlay/inlay and the b&w; painted gabriel orozco i have seen before...

5/22/2008 09:06:00 PM  
Blogger Donna Dodson said...

and i found a random link to a document that helped me understand the algorithm... chalk:cheese...

Document title:
Relating derived relations as a model of analogical reasoning
The current study aimed to test a Relational Frame Theory (RFT) model of analogical reasoning based on the relating of derived same and derived difference relations. Experiment 1 recorded reaction time measures of similar-similar (e.g., "apple is to orange as dog is to cat") versus different-different (e.g., "he is to his brother as chalk is to cheese") derived relational responding, in both speed-contingent and speed-noncontingent conditions...

5/22/2008 10:04:00 PM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

All i thought of was black velvet vitrine, so my mind went, duh, the ill fated aztec show at the gug. I think there are still aztecs wandering around in there. there wasn't a crystal skull, but there should have been, even if it was a fake.

two moons

is another association. Nothing to do with hirst that I know of.

5/22/2008 11:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That Aztec show! I want more.

Hirst looks almost perverse and in a power position over his skull, while Mapplethorpe here below is filled with a certain distraught was he is telling us that he knows his time will be soon (he was sick).

You'll find the Mapplethorpe picture to be way more dramatic and powerful, though the Hirst picture is not exactly how the art is supposed to be seen.

I think there is another picture of Mapplethorpe with a real large skull, but can't find it. Here are some other skulls by Mapplethorpe, from way earlier:

Cedric C

5/22/2008 11:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

was he is telling us...

was = as



5/22/2008 11:30:00 PM  
Blogger concrete phone said...

5/23/2008 07:57:00 AM  
Blogger zipthwung said...

is damien hirst sick? Hes not going to die anytime soon right? Why the preoccupation?

Is that what people are thinking? because I know I am. What a hell. My deepest sympathies Damien.

If fortune ever frowns on you, say my name and I'll be there.

5/25/2008 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

albrecht durer

5/26/2008 08:27:00 AM  

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