Art History Milkshake: a seminal moment in modern American literature

Art history test this morning. Modernism through Russian Constructivism, including (but not limited to) Realism, Neoclassicism, IMpressionism, EXpressionism, Fauvism, Der Blaue Reiter, Cubism, Futurism, and (of course) Cubo-Futurism. When did Manet paint Dejuner Sur L’herbe? 1863? That seems right. Wait… what’s that? She’s setting up the computer and a slide came up… ohhh… it’s that one Cubo-Futurist guy. Russian. Not Popova (heh… “pop over…”), no… something “-vich.” Sarapova? Sarapo-vich? That doesn’t seem right. God, I should have studied more.

“Okay, this is the first slide. Please identify and discuss the work. You have one minute.”

Oh, I know that one! It’s Nude Descending a Staircase, by Duchamp! 1912! Pre-futurist, post-cubist. I drop a No. 2 at the end of the title just because I can and briefly consider also including the French title Nu Descendant Un Escalier, Numéro Deux, but decide against it on the grounds that it’s probably too snarky. Throw in a remark about representation of movement and the end of Cubism, and I’m done in time for…

oh crap…

I’ve got no idea about this one. Don’t recognize the style, don’t recognize the period. It’s sort of like Matisse but not quite. Oh… what’s his name? Not Cézanne, the other guy. Starts with a G. Period… Fauvist? Come on! Concentrate! I must know…

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And they’re like,
It’s better than yours…

…what? What the hell is…

…Damn right, it’s better than yours,
I can teach you,
But I have to charge

…that song’s like five years old! What the crap is it doing bouncing around my head?

I know you want it,
The thing that makes me,
What the guys go crazy for.
They lose their minds,
The way I wind,
I think its time

…OK, this is no time to get distracted. Just let it go.

OK. Next painting. Manet. Olympia. 1863. Easy. Caused a sensation because it…

La la-la la la,
Warm it up,
La la-la la la,
The boys are waiting,


This one was the guy with a first name for his last… Marc! Franz Marc! The movement was… um… Kandinsky’s… not Fauvism… Der Blaue Milkshake–Reiter! Der Blaue Reiter! Painted in… hmm… 1904? Maybe? I know it’s not actually 1904 but it could be close, kind of around the time of early Cubism, and why did I think of 1904, anyway? That’s a strange date to just make up out of thin air. I had a dream last night where I had to pick a number from 1 to 10, and I had this huge revelation when I realized that nobody EVER picked three! Most people picked 7 or 6, sometimes 2, but NEVER three documentary rough cut due tomorrow I should sit down and do that or really what I should do is sit down tonight and do my taxes. Taxes… 1040… is that–next slide.

I have to compare the stage set by Popova to that Cubo-Futurist painting by… Sarapovich? Well… Russian Constructivism and importance of machines… 1917 revolution, democratization…

…What happened in the year 1040? That would have been the Dark Ages and… the Ebbo Gospels? No I’m pretty sure they were 12-something. Malevich! That’s his name! 1240… 1243–There’s that three again!

Oh, once you get involved,
Everyone will look this way-so,
You must maintain your charm,
Same time maintain your halo,

Symbolist painting of the haloed head of John the Baptist, dripping blood, hovering in midair and staring at Salome. Write something about the femme fatale archetype and there’s also that whole Freudian thing about beheading being symbolic of castration but I don’t write that because I have too much self respect and it’s ridiculous. I mean, if anything, castration is symbolic of beheading because let’s face it, beheading is way more traumatic in that it actually kills you, and if it came right down to it…

Daguerre. DaguerroTYPE. Paris, dead city, ghost city, except for the guy with the fancy shoes. 183…7? 1837. Seven! DAMN!

Just get the perfect blend,
Plus what you have within,
Then next his eyes are squint,
Then he’s picked up your scent,

What if I was in a coma? That would SUCK.

Gaugin! Paul Gaugin! THAT’S his name! Go back and fill it in. At least… I THINK that’s who did it. Expressionist, primitivism… a better guess than nothing at all, but I don’t know the date… I’ll just go with 1904 again…

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,
And their like
It’s better than yours,
Damn right you pretty things (oh, you pretty things)
Don’t you know you’re driving your
Milkshakes and
Fathers insane

Dammit! Two at once! Lucky we’re almost done, and… last question. The Painter’s Studio, 1854, by Jacques Louis-David. Bonus question identify the person on the far right… HA! Charles Baudelaire! …was his name Charles and / Fathers insane? Better play it safe and just put his last name. Check the spelling and

The earth is a bitch
We’ve finished
Our news
Homo Sapiens have outgrown their use

name on the top and… done!

And that, friends, is what my history test this morning was like.

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