By Rob Beschizza at 10:49 am Wed, Aug 22, 2012
An elderly woman in Spain has "stunned Spanish cultural officials" after setting out to restore a prized fresco at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza. I have to admit, it's pretty good! But something's missing.
There we go. Nailed it.
Are they sure it was a Spanish woman? It looks like it was done by Rowan Atkinson to me.
First thing that came to my mind.
I feel like absolutely everyone would be better off if news of this hadn’t spread very far. I know I’m not better off for knowing.
What’s wrong with the news spreading? It made me laugh, and there will probably be some rich American who believes in fairy tales that will swoop in with a bushel of dollars to ‘save’ it.
What’s believing in fairy tales have to do with preserving ancient art?
Doesn’t sound like it was that ancient, if the painter’s granddaughter had just donated money for the restoration of the picture.
“The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic, he says.”
I’m feeling quite a bit better off having read that.
“The secret to doing anything is believing that you can do it. Anything that you believe you can do strong enough, you can do. Anything. As long as you believe”
That’s a happy ‘lil Jesus, alright. Just look at that smile!
Her painting reminds me of the self portraits William Utermohlen created while suffering the late stages of Alzheimer’s disease. I wonder if this woman also once possessed artistic talent that was taken from her by dementia?
Interesting point M. I am not familiar with Utermohlen, but I will read up on him.
If the woman’s work was on a canvass instead of a fresco, I think it would be a worthy artwork by itself. Maybe it’s just me, but there is just something about it.
Am I a heartless tasteless asshole for thinking…”Oh jeez, one less portrait of Jesus on the wall of a church, where will we ever find another of those?”
heartless asshole, maybe, but your taste is not called into question.
Looks pretty accurate to me.
I think more people would be god-fearing if they thought THAT was coming after them. Nightmare invoking.
Now all the parents will start bringing their children to the front of the church before the service: “Jesus knows what you did last night, Eduardo”.
As was noted on another blog, it looks like the lovechild of Fezzik and a barn owl.
There’s a reason why people get paid to do art restorations. And those who offer to do many difficult professional jobs for free should probably be vetted, and show their work.
Imagine: Your car’s rear differential broke, and some kid you don’t know says he’ll fix it for free. You’d probably want to ask his parents if he’s done it before. If he claims he had done it before, you might want to check out the person who had him do it.
Confidence /= Competence
So you’re saying that she’s a member of the Dunning-Kruger school of painting.
I see what you did there :-]
Yeah, but if he screws it up, my car won’t drive, and everyone would be remorseful. Here, we have a serendipitously hilarious painting that sends me and many others into fits of giggling.
It’s not hilarious to the church. And while I’m not religious, I do feel sorry that they got a raw deal on a unique (even if the subject matter is common to the point of cliche) painting’s restoration due to automatically trusting an overconfident amateur’s ambition and enthusiasm….
It may be hilarious for us, but for the church and the parishioner it’s respectively mortifying, and humiliating.
I’m just saying, if the church wanted it done properly, they should have hired a professional, or at the very least taken a look at the previous work the elderly lady had done recently.
If Pablo Picasso offered to paint the acne off your kid’s face in a family portrait, would you expect his face to not look like a melted icecream cake when all was said and done?
Therein lies the rub, or the smear, or the brush stroke. Even a ‘failed’ attempt at ‘Art’ can thrill and delight, or be a bitter disappointment to, different people. More utilitarian things have relatively narrower criteria for success-they either work better or they don’t when the job’s done.
I’m sure I’d be happy with any Picasso re-interpretation of my family members, probably less so with that of the well-intentioned artist in this story. So I can sympathize with the owners and fans of the original art here, but at least there’s some good coming out of it. Maybe the publicity around this thing will result in some donations to the church to find some acceptable replacement art, and they’ll worship happily ever after. It’s not like the original was so great that the world of art and art history are measurably poorer for its loss. If it were a greater work, I think it’s much less likely that the restoration would have been handled so casually.
Plus, Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
Plus, Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
I’m sure any guy with that many mistresses must have been called an “asshole” at some point in his life.
Not in New York. Not like you.
*cough* http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablo_Picasso_(song) *cough*
(I prefer the David Bowie version)
I prefer the version by The Burning Sensations.
If Picasso wanted to, I would let him paint my actual child.
There’s a story about Picasso writing his name on the child of a person who asked for his autograph.
To put that in perspective, nothing is hilarious to the Church.
Are you saying that the Church needs to be a little more gay?
It’s, er, the thought that counts?
sometimes the lack thereof is what causes the tally.
Fucking perspective, how does it work?!
Fucking faces, what do they look like?
Mouths are hard.
God, I just LOVE IT. It is really, really amazing. Waaaay better than the 10×4 paintings of rando white jesus. I mean my god, that is just a way more emotional piece. I want her to paint lots of stuff.
“There, I fixed it!”
The Winning Comment! Thank you :)
Requires Shock Cat.
This is just a Ranger’s Hat and two Fuzzy Ears away from becoming a Fresco of Smokey the Bear.
“Get your Jesus on”
The last “restoration” effort that went this badly was led by George Lucas.
1000 Internets to you, sirrah.
I’m taking that. :)
Fresco Adventure Time!
“The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic”
It looks absolutely nothing like the description above taken from the BBC article!
FACE OF CHRIST APPEARS IN PORTRAIT OF CHEWBACCA
Sanctuary mobbed by worshipers
I could pray to this. Church of The Indifferent Capuchin.
I should probably have realized the image uploader doesn’t support .gifs… http://i48.tinypic.com/24uwbqg.gif
I still say he looks like Fezzik/Andre the Giant.
“Church fresco restoration botched to look like Andre the Giant” is SO Family Guy 2005.
Your brain is FULL of data. Respect.
“There we go. Nailed it.”
Oh the irony of that last statement. haaa beautifully done Rob
Was her name Francis Bacon ?
The original fresco was pretty good, but you know what it needed?
BBC cropped out the best part. Looks like the artist decided Jesus needed an arm made out of a cinnamon stick.
The serious part of me wants to think it’s supposed to be the bottom of a rolled-up scroll, but the non-serious part of me is roflmao.
Ouch! Apparently she wanted one to match the scroll above the picture.
But that link said that she apparently scrubbed first paint off… and yes… from this link you can see the original picture, taken in 2010:
The original was pretty much ok, until she started her “restoration”.
I had to do with pixlr.com because photoshop hasn’t installed itself yet. It should get around to that.
“No one expects the Spanish Granny’s mission !”
Reminds me of that 1992 incident where a youth group in southern France ended up destroying some 15000 year old cave art when they tried to clean graffiti out of an old cave. Good intentions only get you so far…
Bippety boppety Bacon!
So, it seems there IS someone on the planet who is a worse artist than I am.
It’s a miracle!
I see Burt Convey here.
Quite honestly, the new version looks much more interesting than the old one, which looks like the sort of Jesus that any reasonably talented commercial artist could churn out.
…and did. I agree, I vote for keeping the old lady version, and hiring her to do more!
Curse me to Hell, but the picture on the right screams “I HAB TO GO TO THE BAFF WOOM”
well the commode is usually where I try to talk to god, especially after a night of cheap wings and beer.
This article and the BB comments made my day. Thank you. :)
This morning, a BBC writer said ” it looked like a hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.”
Since when were monkeys considered such snappy dressers anyway?
They’re not. The writer was suggesting a need for monkey tailors.
mod dressed monkeys were an off shoot of British punk of the mid 80s
Who needs the government? Private citizens can take care of this stuff at a much lower cost!
There was so much left of the original painting it would have been like painting by numbers to finish it, although I assume the woman totally wiped the old paint off in her restoration attempt. That said, is there a test or some way of evaluating how each of us sees or perceives
whatever it is we’re looking at? Is it possible we don’t all see everything the same way? I mean in a literal sense. Could the woman have looked at her rendition and felt totally confident it matched the original or is that where delusion steps in?
Well typically with art things you need to present a portfolio of previous works.
How does presenting a portfolio answer any of my questions? Do you know what a non sequitor is?
The portfolio is a presentation of how each artist sees or perceives.
Dlo, I know what a portfolio is (however you put it more poetically than I would have). My question was is there a way to quantify (for lack of a better word) the levels of perceptive ability each individual has (not that my perception is better or worse than yours, for instance. Just different). Apparently the church’s priest saw her renovation the same way she did, while enough people saw no resemblance to the original and questioned the artistic ability in her version that it made it to the internet. Do we all see things the same way? How do our visions differ? If there is a difference is it genetic, cultural, how is it effected by technology or tradition, etc?
Maybe it does look exactly like the original version, and our perspective is skewed. We might just be ageist and sexist!
See, that’s what I was asking, sort of. You have the before and after images of the fresco. When you look at them do you see any difference at all between them ? You have the original version right in front of you and you ask if OUR perspective is skewed, ageist, and sexist. I don’t want to sound mean, but were you home schooled?
I, errrm, well… OK. Sorry, what?
Yes, to the woman it might look just like the original. That was my question re: how do we individually percieve things we are looking at? Do we see things exactly the same way? You’ll have to explain how ageism and sexism come into it.
Ooooooohhhhh. I get it. To the woman it might look just like the original, not to us. Whooosh. That just went straight over my head. I feel like a real idiot now.
Anyway, I hope someone with better comprehension skills is able to give you the answer you seek, and I also hope the full humorectomy works out for you.
Sorry if I didn’t get your sarcasm. But if you ever taught art you might wonder WTF some of your students were looking at. And don’t get me started on their critiques of their fellow students work.
No worries, it gave me an opportunity to showcase the level of maturity and high mindedness I can bring to a discussion. (c;
The article says the church has a photo of the picture. They should post that on the Internet and let the Photoshoppers at it. I bet they’ll get excellent results for free.
George Costanza is NOT happy with his beach picture.
This Pussy Riot thing is really taking off isn’t it?
I don’t know how many here are familiar with the atheist youtube vlogger NonStampCollector, but this fresco restoration certainly copies his style:
I feel safer knowing this picture and this lady are far away from me.
I think that once after an all night acid trip I woke up with this woman next to me in bed. tufts of hair grew out the crack of her @ss. I swore off acid for a week.
Shit, now we’ll never know what Jesus looked like.
well at least that can silence the creativists for a few days at least. Evolution rocks
Needs tumblr :
EDIT: And http://www.facebook.com/BeastJesusRestorationSociety
Yeah this is really blowing up on my dash
My favorite so far
I feel a little guilty for laughing at this. I could see this being a feature in the plot of a Pedro Almodovar film.
DIY. We all support that concept, right? She’s got the spirit of a Maker.
You snarky people are being way too hard on her. How is she going to get better unless she practices?
Bah. My granny could do that.
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