Tuesday, April 24, 2007

ADVENTURES IN THE DESIGN WORLD™: The Idealized Spa Owner Portrait

Recently while wandering through the bowels of weekday-afternoon interior pedestrian walkway Chicago, I came upon this painting in the hallway outside of a local hair salon/spa. At first I was struck by the pedantic brushwork, lack of well-defined form, perspectival inconsistencies, high school notebook-quality hand lettering, and vomit-inducing color palette. But upon closer inspection, I began to notice details that made this painting truly horrifying: the turgid presentation of a local spa owner; the subtle implied halo around the top of his head; the attempts to place this man in historical Rome as a man not merely rendering unto Caesar, but apparently burying him and replacing him as well. I started to wonder what the history was behind this painting, whether it had been painted by one of the spa owner's former tawdry affairs, and whether one of his heroes in life was the guy in those old D.O.C. Optical "Sexy Specs" ad campaigns.

Then I realized I'd wasted a good thirty seconds of my life staring at this piece of crap.


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