Monday, November 13, 2006

Thunderbirds are G...G...Guernica!

click photo to enlarge
"Guernica 3" is a 50 feet high model of the rocket, Thunderbird 3, that many will remember from the puppet-based TV programme (and later film), "Thunderbirds". However, the original bright red of the model has been almost completely replaced by selections from Picasso's most famous painting, "Guernica", a work that commented on the bombing of the town of that name in the Spanish Civil War. As an "installation" it's certainly different, but is it art? Given that it's one of a number of populist and popular art works along Blackpool's miles of promenade we can only assume that Graham Ogden, Shouichi Yasuda, Collette Halstead and Sarah Myerscough had that in mind. But, on this occasion I'll leave that question to one side and simply say it's definitely fun! And, furthermore, it immediately suggests other unlikely pairings of toys and art works!

Here are 5 ideas that the team of artists might like to consider for future projects:

1 "Fab Mr & Mrs Andrews" - Lady Penelope's Fab 1 futuristic pink Rolls Royce (also from Thunderbirds) adorned with Thomas Gainsborough's "Mr & Mrs Andrews". This would look wonderful: a sort of filthy rich meets the country squire and his missus.

2 "A Bigger Splashmobile" - This livens up the boring black of Batman's Batmobile car with the bright colours and Californian sunlight of David Hockney's swimmng pool scene, "A Bigger Splash". After that paint job the dynamic duo would be heard singing Beach Boys songs as they sped off to save Gotham City.

3 "Swinging Darth" - Darth Vader thinks he's the epitome of bad, in his shiny black mask, armour and cape. But he'd be a pussy cat, a complete pushover, who no one could take seriously, sporting the coy figures and boudoir colours of Jean-Honore Fragnard's "The Swing".

4 "Boardwalk Noddy" - Most people would agree that Noddy's car has a futuristic engine design (putting a penny in the engine is still something that mainstream manufacturers haven't cottoned on to), and is the unsurpassed highpoint of automotive styling. So imposing an angular aesthetic on those sensuous curves might seem sacrilegious. However, Piet Mondrian's "Boardwalk" would wrap around it nicely, and bring a heightened sophistication to a colour scheme that many think of as a classic!

5 "Superchintz" - The red, blue and yellow of Superman's outfit is so last-millennium. He should swap it for a material that's a timeless classic, something that never goes out of date, like William Morris's "Chrysanthemum" fabric design. An added bonus would be that when he got changed in the shrubbery there'd be very little chance of anyone spotting him!

No doubt this has got you thinking about other possible pairings of toys and paintings. Well here's my advice. Keep them to yourself, or people will think you're as weird as I am. Or possibly something far worse - an artist! Ah, I almost forgot - the photograph. I pointed the camera and clicked the shutter.

photograph & text (c) T. Boughen