Subtle Coolness · chrono index · alpha index


by William Jackson on 2004-06-08

Image: Dunny

Fine art is hard to come by these days. There seems to have been a shortage ever since Leonardo went into retirement. Thatʼs da Vinci, by the way, not da katana. The leader of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will never go into retirement.

For this reason (the art shortage, remember?) I am thrilled to find an acceptable offering to the art world. All these exhibits are reasonably priced ($1,000 – $25,000). From the looks of it, a few of them could beat up Leonardo, too. Thatʼs da katana, by the way, not da Vinci. Nobody can beat up da Vinci.

Itʼs exhibits like this (Iʼm talking about art, remember?) that make me appreciate the vast creativity of the global population. I fear, however, that 90 percent of the worldʼs creativity is found in 10 percent of its people. Take, for instance, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird (with whom I am sure you are all familiar). I will recount their story.

One day Mr. Eastman was having lunch over at Mr. Lairdʼs, and Mr. Laird was showing Mr. Eastman his underground “Laird Lair”, as he liked to call it, to pass the time. On one table, Mr. Laird had several tubs of certified lard and half a dozen box turtles. He was conducting experiments for his thesis, “Increasing the Average and Maximum Velocity of Turtles through Lubrication”, and wanted to demonstrate some of his findings to his friend.

Mr. Eastman tripped over a power cord that was very unsafely strewn across the walkway, and accidentally spilled his bowl of green Jell-O® over the turtles. The spoon flew across the room and into a corner where stood Mr. Lairdʼs favorite display-piece: the full battle dress of an ancient Samurai warrior. That, too, fell to the floor, and after the dust settled there was silence for an extended period of time.

Mr. Laird, jaw open, looked upon the scene. Two yearsʼ worth of scientific study had been ruined, a priceless artifact had been severely damaged, and Mr. Eastman stood sheepishly with Jell-O® down the front of his shirt. Mr. Laird looked from the turtles, to the costume, to Mr. Eastman, back to the costume, and back to the turtles, then a smile crept onto his face.

“I need a pencil!” he yelled as he ran up the basement steps. When Mr. Eastman found him in his study, he was feverishly scribbling on the inside front cover of the D encyclopedia. Mr. Laird paused, then looked up at his friend and said, “I need names.”

Then he noticed the room for what felt to him like the first time. On the far wall, above Mr. Eastmanʼs head, was a framed print of Mona Lisa side by side with a print of Madonna and Child. In the corner was a statue of David. The ceiling was patterned after the Sistine Chapel.

On that fateful day last week, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created.

But Iʼm talking about art, remember?