Behold the Strangely Classy Benjameme


I’ve recently started following the Benjameme tumblr, which is a collection of internet inspired oil paintings done by artist Lauren Kaelin.

I’ll let Kaelin explain the concept:

An excuse to paint the internet; inspired by Walter Benjamin and the Ikea Monkey.

Benjamemes takes its name from a German art theorist, Walter Benjamin. In Benjamin’s 1936 essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” he addresses the then newfound reproducibility and availability of art. This democratization of art made Benjamin question the value of the original. An original [work] of art, he theorized, possessed an aura, which made the experience of viewing the original unique. Reproductions degraded the value of the original’s aura.

A successful meme is by definition reproducible, shareable, and recognizable. Benjamemes creates an aura where none previously existed.

I love how weirdly sophisticated these memes become once rendered in oils. These would look pretty good on the walls of a pop culture blogger, am I right? Check out more after the jump.


David After Dentist 2009, 2013


Ikea Monkey, 2013


Texts from Hillary Clinton 2012, 2013


Grumpy Cat 2012, 2013


Antoine Dodson 2010, 2012


Dramatic Chipmunk 2007, 2013

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