Zany right wing pundit Glenn Beck had art on the brain Tuesday night. A special segment of his show, titled “Work of Art” began with a discussion of the 4-year old controversy surrounding Michael D’Antuono’s portrait of President Barack Obama with a crown of thorns and ended with Beck submerging an Obama action figure in a mason jar of his own urine.
Between points A and B is a goofy, semi-coherent treatise on artistic censorship. As one might imagine, Beck is no great art lover, but he believes freedom of expression is and should be protected under the First Amendment. He glosses over the scandal caused by Michelangelo’s portrayal of heroic male nudity in the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican’s censorious fig leaf campaign, and turns reproductions of famous works of art into his own personal coloring books. Throughout the segment, Beck employs a French accent, consistently refers to the male sex organ as a “ding-a-ling,” and proclaims that “the only real, celestial work of art” is the Constitution of the United States of America.
Although Beck’s crazy rantings really ought to be appreciated in their original unadulterated form (see embedded video below), here’s a roundup of some choice moments from Beck’s silly art history lecture.
- The part where Beck declares New York the locus of moral delinquency: “In New York City, they have an art show, where they paint Madonna and Jesus in elephant dung.” He’s ostensibly referring the scandal caused by Chris Ofili’s “The Holy Virgin Mary” back in 1999.
- The part where he talks about Michelangelo’s “Adam”’s penis in a goofy French Accent: “Vat is this? His little ding-a-ling is showing, we can’t show that on television! Oh yes! We have a little music from gay Paris, eh?”
- The part where Beck puts on an artists smock and a beret.
- The part where he calls a beret a “painting hat.”
- The part where he draws a bikini on Peter Paul Rubens’s “Venus at the Mirror” and says “Maybe she lives in Brazil?” (This also happens in a French accent.)
- The part where he draws jeans, a Christmas sweater, and socks on Lucian Freud’s famously zaftig Sue Tilley.
- The part where he calls Sue Tilley a “fatty fat fatso” (as in, “We had to make a lot of fabric for fatty fat fatso… She is beautiful now. Now I say this is just grandma on the couch taking a little nappy nap).
- The part where he dates the Freud’s 1995 painting to 1791.
- The part where he calls Rubens “the butt-crack painter guy.”
- The part where he says “the butt crack painter guy is free to paint butt cracks all he wants.”
- The part where he calls Jackson Pollock “that Polack guy.”
- The part where he opines that Picasso’s absinthe drinker is sad because his nose is in the anatomically correct place.
- The part where he calls his own urine “my own… special brew.”
- The part where he informs us that it’s “still warm.”
- The part where he calls the Internet the “web store.”
- The part where he asks for a stick to keep the Obama figurine from bobbing to the top of the Mason jar of urine.
- The part where he christens the work “Flobama,” or — for the “little people” who don’t understand, “Obama in Pee-Pee,” and prices it at $25,000.
- Just about every part where he says the word “pee-pee.”
- The weird, misogynist part where he talks about Michelle Obama’s body: “And by the way, if this one sells I’m going to do another one with Michelle Obama and her skinny little abs.”
- The part where he goes to commercial by quoting the Dos Equis guy: “Stay consistent my friends!”
Watch the entire Glenn Beck clip:
— Chloe Wyma
(Image courtesy the artist.)