Are you a real geek in history of arts? If you can tell Monet and Manet apart, simply know that there is a music sheet hidden in ‘The Last Supper’ (Unbelievable? Find out in our magazine’s latest issue!), or have even flown miles away to Paris just to appreciate the beauty of Mona Lisa in the flesh, I guess you’d be agog for this museum the way I was: Parody Art Museum!
Sound interesting? I’ve come across this museum during my recent trip to Pattaya. Standing tall with its colorful façade, the museum is situated within the bustling area of North Pattaya. Curious enough, I entered the building and was stunned by a bust of Vincent Van Gogh painted in his own artistic style, with the caricature of Gogh saying “Hello Parody” hanging behind at the entrance.
At the far side of the reception room is another piece of spoof that makes my laughter burst. It’s a caricature of the four artists after which Ninja Turtles are named, Donatello, Leonardo, Michaelangelo and Raphael, all in hippie-style costumes.
Can you imagine how cool this place is? Double your expectation! What I’ve told above is just a small portion of appetizers for a big brilliant feast of humour.
GALLERY OF GAGS
The receptionist told me to move to an adjacent gallery room. That is the beginning of nearly twenty-minute walk with countless surprises throughout this two-storey building. Along the length of the wall are numbers of mocking work of arts created just to make fun of their original paintings from every age in the history of arts by adding modern jokes and satirizing people’s behaviours nowadays.
You would find Mona Lisas dressed in Captain America suit and body-painted as a character in Avatar, and a Wifi signal sparking from where Adam’s forefinger and God’s touch each other for example. It’s allowed to freely take photo here and share to your friends on social network, it’s really magnetic!
PASSAGE OF STREET ARTS
At the end of the second floor, there is a door leading you out of the building to the neighbour al fresco gallery. Many pieces displayed in this place are inspired by famous post-modern arts, presented in more contemporary style of collage, graffiti and installation.
You will face a troop of magnified version of Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup Can, together with graffiti of Picasso-style ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ and of Charlie Chaplin trying to paint his self-portrait.
LABYRINTH OF GRAFFITI
On the ground floor of this building is a winding corridor with numerous graffiti and mural arts painted along the wall. There’s something more than japes and concepts that make them outstanding; fascinating details of the graphics are also incomparable.
Within many dozens of parody pieces in which classical arts and commercial arts comically put together, there are two mural paintings that impressed me a lot. One is Mahatma Gandhi’s caricature in a vacation outfit with his famous quote, the other is John Lennon’s signature facial expression with a word “IMAGINE!” on his forehead. Both of them are painted on the same corner nearby a balustrade wall from which you could look upon the lawn outside. Imagine how it’d be if you look from outside in – they are in jail.
GARDEN OF SCULPTURES
You cannot finish the tour without having a walk on the backyard, where various sizes of parody sculptures scatter about, inviting you to have some shot with them. You can pose with Charlie Chaplin and Marilyn Monroe, or join a gig of Manet’s The Fifer and his animal friends from Bremen. Never miss the enormous sculpture of ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ at the centre of the garden.
I give the creator two thumbs up for the Birth of Venus sculpture. It’s the interpretation of beauty – the way he mixed idealistic Venus with the overweight Venus figurines from ancient ages – that deserves a compliment. And I really enjoy taking photo with Napoleon on the Merry-Go-Round Horseback. That’s a witty sarcasm.
KLIMT’S MEDIA ROOM
The final part of the museum sits behind the opaque backdoor of the building. There’s a label says ‘Media Room’, and I expected more funny parodies in motion picture or internet meme, but it proved me wrong. Inside of the door is a real gallery dedicated to awesome masterpieces of Gustav Klimt, Austrian artist and interior designer in Vienna Secession era who is notable for his ‘golden phase’ technique. His artworks were controversial on his days due to its sensuality and nudity, but I guess that is one of the reasons Parody Art Museum displays his pieces here: they are both unconventionally provocative.
There are dozens of reproduced masterpieces exhibited here along the walkway, some are usually referred to in Arts class like ‘The Kiss’, ‘The Girlfriend’ and a collection of ‘The Tree of Life, Expectation and Fulfilment’.
You will eventually approach the media room, where bean bags are set in the middle of this 360-degree screening room. Just plunge yourself into these comfy seats and watch a presentation of Klimt’s pieces fading in and out from every corner of the room. The ten-minute presentation adds a dynamic to these still pictures by giving them a motion; the lovers in ‘The Kiss’ slowly putting their lips together, the girl in ‘The Maiden” swirling around. I suggest you to change your seat position every time the presentation restarts so you can catch all of them.
I went out of the museum with joy and optimism. It’s such a marvelous experience to see such a movement in arts. It assured me that arts, however classical, will never die as long as it compromises with the change of generation, and surrenders to the creativity.