This is an old post I am re-sharing from Feb, 2015, that fell through the cracks. I made 15 artists into cyclopes [and that is the corrected spelling of the plural of cyclops].

Over a period of 2 days I made 15 images of artists as Cyclopes. You can see all of them in the gallery below, and then if you scroll further down you can see the before and after, find out who the artists are, and read my commentary about this small series. I think it’s best to just look first and have your own ideas or responses before finding out anything about my intent, or lack thereof. They are in reverse order, with the last completed ones at the top.

These pieces are mostly intended to be humorous, or just odd, and were something I did as a break from my more serious or technically difficult work, as I’d just finished a piece that had tested my mettle a bit. I started making them and continued to do so until I ran out of steam, and wanted to move onto something else.

The inspiration came up unexpectedly from making a custom graphic for my blog (as I frequently do), in the post about the origins of conceptual art. I discussed Marcel Duchamp’s L.H.O.O.Q., which is the piece in which he drew a mustache and beard on the Mona Lisa.

L.H.O.O.Q., by Marcel Duchamp 19,19.

If you are curious about what I think about this, you can read it here, but my first artist Cyclops was a response to his work. Oddly enough, when I think about it, I also do a lot of art pranks, many masquerading as art criticism, or as a sort of Trojan Horse to make salient points about art. Mine, however, are considered completely insignificant. Anyway, I find mustaches and beards boring, so I decided to alter Duchamp’s image in a way that agreed with my own sensibility and preferences: I made him a Cyclops with antennae and sharpened teeth.

It only took a few minutes, tops, but the result has a sort of resonance. I’ve also been interested in painting or drawing over photos for a while, such as in some of the works of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Sophie Derrick, and Andrew Newton… So, I just started drawing over other artists to make them into Cyclopes as well. I gradually moved into color, then making them somewhat more realistic, lost the antennae, and finally switched to altering artist’s self portraits in their own style.

Oh, yeah, there’s nothing against these artists, and some of them are among my all-time favorites.

Since I alreadty mentioned Duchamp, I’m going to share the images again, paired with their sources, and starting in chronological order with Duchamp. [You can click on any of them to see an image in a separate tab sized for your screen.]

Marcel Duchamp

Marcel Duchamp as a Cyclops

Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol as a Cyclops

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst as a CyclopsJeff Koons

Jeff Koons as a CyclopsSalvador Dali

Salvador Dali as a Cyclops

Frida Kahlo

Krida Kahlo as a CyclopsFrancis Bacon

Francis Bacon as a CyclopsBruce Nauman

Bruce Nauman as a CyclopsChuck Close

Chuck Close as a CyclopsJackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock as a Cyclops

Tracey Emin

Tracey Emin as a CyclopsDavid Hockney

David Hockney as a CyclopsMarina Abramović

Marina Abramovic as a CyclopsVincent Van Gogh

Vincent Van Gogh as a CyclopsPablo Picasso

Pable Picasso as a Cyclops~ Ends

17 replies on “15 Artists as Cyclopes: complete series (with before and after pics)

  1. I’d put that Cyclops Van Gogh on my wall, not gonna lie! Love it.

    Jeff Koons looks less creepy as a cyclops rabbit. I got a kick out of Dali’s cyclops cat, too.

    This reminds me of the fun I had a few years back with some prints I found at an op-shop ( Australian for ‘Thrift Store’). The prints were of lovely wholesome paintings of children, in ornate old frames. When I got them home I gave all the children devil horns and tails. The little demons look great on my wall 🙂 . You’ve reignited my spark here; methinks it’s time to visit the op-shop again 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good luck at the op-shop.

      Yeah, The Vincent one is the best.

      Have you posted your devil children in ornate frames? I’d like to see those.

      Not hard to improve on Koons.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Sleepy. Very sleepy. Will leave off this comment now to slump over into an impromptu nap.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thankyou, the op-shops around here are goldmines. I’m sure I’ll find something fun!

        I can’t remember if I was blogging at the time of the devil children….I don’t think I did post them. Must do- OR- new ones when I finally get around to the op-shopping/ embellishing of whatever I find there.

        Too true; Kreepy Koons.

        Enjoy your nap, and have a great whatever time of day/ night you happen to be having!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wondered about these, happy to read the background.

    I esp like how you’ve made your additions specifically for each portrait. Your Hockney mouth goes so well with his tie. The Emin antennae complement her portrait’s hair extrusion. Pollack’s glasses are suggested in his “new eye.” Koons now looks like a relatove of his bunny buddy. Etc. Details! ♥️

    Fascinating, all.

    (I’d leave a concept-comment but that’d be like a half- assembled Muppet trying to say something profound re the history of textiles.)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah. I pretty much knocked them out as fast as I could, and tried to make them appropriate. Now that there are NFTs and everyone just makes anything at all to sell, I look back on these sorts of “collections” and almost wonder what motivated me. I guess I just make art, humor, and social commentary for the inherent worth of it.

      By the way. I’m staying off of Twitter for a while. I’ve basically been suffocated out and relegated to the bottom rungs of the algorithm, which rewards the worst kind of engagement farming. There’s hardly any reason to tweet anything if I am mostly just talking to myself. The WordPress reader, at least for now, doesn’t use algorithms.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Thnx for letting me know about Twitter. Sux, how it works. The way they wall off people is REALLY awful. Fiends.

        I’ve had 17 Twitter accounts over the years bec I reach a point where I can’t stand it anymore, leave. What’s the point of it if the only people who follow are the ones who are trying to sell, too? And all that retweeting is f*cking annoying. I mute everyone!.

        ANYWAY: I’m hit-or-miss there (& Instagram) right now bec I’m learning Procreate. Unlike Twitter, it makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something. Will watch for you to come back.

        Update re my AI adventures: dead in the water except for trying new ones that are popping up on the web. Haven’t heard back from Midjourney or NightCafé, not interested in anything that wants my “wallet” (NFTs), still can’t figure out how Nebula41 (14? 🙃) does anything at all bec no one ever says anything.

        So – I’m back to human intelligence again. HAAAAHAAA!

        Will be back on WP in a couple of days. 🤗👋

        Liked by 1 person

      2. FYI I just tried to leave a comment on one of the linked posts but WP fought me the whole way (couldn’t get to it in the Reader, too far back), not sure it went thru. As it disappeared I saw one of the worst typos I’ve ever made. So – read it, click on the link. It’s really a screenshot from DuckDuckGo & NOT what I typed. Then just ditch the comment (unless you feel like fixing it). 🤷‍♀️


      3. ::whew:: I really ought to proof these things…🤗 …. Thank you for letting me know. It was a pretty good comment up until that typo. In it I included a link to a screenshot (from an hour or so ago) showing your linked post about conceptual art as the top hit in a DuckDuckGo search. 👏👏👏

        Liked by 1 person

  3. There is so much to love about these.

    I love how you preserved the cigar and specs on Chuck Close, the unibrow and enraged look on Frida Kahlo, and how Warhol’s antennae blend right in with his hair. And the cat!!! The cyclops cat!

    But it’s the Van Gogh that is ah-maze-ing. The way you’ve capture his style … on everything, but especially on the horn!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HA HA HA. He’s definitely tied with my favorite artist. As in, there’s nobody I especially like better, but you can’t compare apples and oranges, so he’s in that top tier. So, we both love Van Gogh. Ah, those luminous, thickly painted landscapes!

      Thanks for stopping by!


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