CHAIRman Mao

Artist Gerald Scarfe created this chair/sculpture that looks like Chairman Mao (by way of Jabba the Hutt), so you can be cushioned by the gentle curves of the Great Helmsman as you play on your Xbox. Link

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  1. I saw this at a Scarfe exhibition in London when I was about 9 years old. Perhaps not to unusual, but you just blew my mind showing me an image I haven’t seen in 28 years!

    His sculpture of Maggie Thatcher was brilliant as well.

  2. I would NOT want to wake up in the middle of the night with this… thing… in my room!

  3. All I can see is this huge, naked chair-man. “Wanna sit on my lap?” On the one hand I want to laugh and on the other hand I want to scrub the image from my eyeballs.

  4. This has been sat in the window of the Cartoon Museum around the corner from the British Museam for quite a while.

  5. Let me tell you I like the sofa, but, how can I tell you? I would watch carefully twice before sitting on!

    Gregorio

  6. None of the students suspected that the “Mao Tse-Tung Chair of Political Studies” really WAS one!

  7. Wow. That is one milspec disturbing chair.

    It would be only mildly discomfiting if it didn’t have the slack mouth hanging open and inviting. It’s like the chair is asking for deposits in the ugh bank.

    I kind of wanted it before I described it that way. Now I don’t. I still approve of it though.

  8. apparently the Chairman saw no need for toothbrushes any more than human rights. Is the open mouth for storing a small mackerel for verisimilitude?

  9. There are a couple of historic figures I wouldn’t mind sitting on the lap of…..but Chairman Mao is not one of them. Ew. D:

  10. Places I’d never like to be stuck:

    ~a washing machine
    ~an elevator
    ~That thing’s belly button

  11. The crowning touch is the elongated toes. That demented thing wouldn’t be half as terrifying if only it didn’t have those toes.

  12. yeah, they’re actual motorized so they writhe and wriggle ever so slightly,in rhythm with the pump that inflates/deflates the chest for “breathing”.
    Every now and then, the head turns ever so slightly.
    The really creepy part is the heating element that keeps the whole thing skin-warm.

    c’mon. Have a seat.

  13. Who would ever have predicted that the terminus of the cultural revolution would be a recliner instead of re-education?
    Funny thing – I never fully understood the Uncanny Valley concept till now. This Mao – He vibrates?

  14. hmmm “Gerald Scarfe was born in London. He was asthmatic as a child and spent much time drawing and reading. After a brief period at the Royal College of Art in London, he established himself as a satirical cartoonist, working for Punch magazine and Private Eye during the early sixties. He has had many exhibitions worldwide, including New York, Osaka, Montreal, Los Angeles, Sydney, Melbourne, Chicago and London, and 50 one-man shows. He has designed the sets and costumes for plays, operas and musicals in London, Houston, Los Angeles and Detroit. His film work includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Scarfe has written and directed many live action and documentary films for BBC and Channel 4 and has published many books of -”

    very talented. BB had something about the insanely fast pace of development in China today a few days ago -in it was mentioned a new industry involving taking the piss out of mao ikons. This work might be well received.

    Consider that not so very long ago it would have meant certain death for the creator and any who even saw it.

  15. ummm,yas;

    “In their new book, “Mao: The Unknown Story,” Jung Chang and Jon Halliday make an impassioned case for Mao as the most monstrous tyrant ever. They argue that he was responsible for “well over 70 million deaths in peacetime, more than any other 20th-century leader,” and they argue that “he was more extreme than Hitler or Stalin” in that he envisioned a brain-dead, “completely arid society, devoid of civilization, deprived of representation of human feelings, inhabited by a herd with no sensibility, which would automatically obey his orders.”

  16. yeah, heh, heh, that mao. he had his quirks. but, hey! that little red book. that’s literature! we shall have give love much our glorious leader! a long lives revolution!

  17. Mao is what happens when you hand someone too much power. He began as an intellectual poet revolutionary, and became a vile and ruthless despot. Story as old as the hills (of bodies).

  18. “you can be cushioned by the gentle curves of the Great Helmsman”

    But it looks nothing like Sulu (or Wilf Brim)….

  19. lol, BB is making me refreshingly nostalgic today. I used to see this all the time when I lived on great Russell Street. It was awesome then, and always will be.

    Maoism is bizarrely popular in the US and France [relative to elsewhere]. Collective imperialist guilt, I suppose. I don’t know. i don’t understand it. there was an article in LRB about six months back about Stalin and his poetry as well. the main surprise was Stalin was a hottie before he got all fat and moustachioed. Looks like Plato was right to ban the poets. Mind you, wouldn’t particularly fancy reading any of Bush’s poetry, and he would be first on my ban list.

  20. I hearby sensor this chair. it shall not be seen by the people of China or the rest of the world. How dare you depict the great Mao in this way!!

  21. Hey, does anyone remember the name and author of that satirical scifi story where china and usa attack eachother with earth quakes generated by everyone in the country similtaneously jumping off their chairs?
    And everyone ended up doing it constantly to deflect eachothers attack?

    It was a great allegory for the chill conflict anyway…

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