Saturday, July 28, 2007

Paint By Numbers

Secret messages are being sent to us in Leonardo da Vinci's "Last Supper". Slavisa Pesci, an information technologist and amateur scholar, says superimposing the "Last Supper" with its mirror-image creates another picture containing a figure who looks like a Templar knight and another holding a small baby. Renewed speculation as to whether or not this new image suggests that, a la "The Da Vinci Code", that Jesus married his follower, Mary Magdelene, and fathered a child.
There is a Monty Python skit in which they suggest that it was Michelangelo who painted "the Penultimate Supper". In his masterwork, he includes a kangaroo, twenty-eight disciples, and three Christs. The Pope's insistence on an accurate depiction of the scene from the Bible causes Michelangelo to sneer, "You want a bloody photographer! That's you want." If only somebody could get some juicy footage of Jesus and Mary Magdelene in put it up on YouTube, then we'd all be convinced.
Still, this puts me in mind of one of the other great experiments in the manipulation of art. That would be the synchronous playing of "The Wizard of Oz" and Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon". The coincidences abound, giving the viewer the impression that Pink Floyd had created their album as an alternative soundtrack to the 1939 MGM classic. After we tried this with some friends, we then set about looking for other synchronicities, including a mash-up of Disney's "Fantasia" and songs by Martin Denny. The results were never quite as awe-inspiring, but it turns out that watching hippos in tutus is pretty amusing no matter what is playing in the background.
So, what can we make of this? Later today I plan to get out my copy of Janson's "History of Art", a mirror, and Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" to see what I can come up with.


A. Mercer said...

Ha! Dh and I were in Oakland on Friday, and on the trip home we discovered a whole new world of bumper stickers that reside in the Bay Area. Your post reminded me of one that featured the characters of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, and what I will just euphemistically refer to as a "money shot" (trust me the bumper sticker was more graphic). I wonder if that will be the illogical conclusion of all this thinking?

A. Mercer said...

Speaking of mash-ups:

but this video response is even better:

LukeNet said...

just another silly hoax: