Pastiche

PART I

In order to find an example of pastiche, I chose to look at the topic of art in relation to pop culture. The work that I decided to examine was done by Banksy, possibly the most popular street artist in the world, on the side of a building in a popular section of London directly next to the Old Street Tube station.

The work is based off of a movie poster for the violent film, “Pulp Fiction” directed by Quentin Tarrantino starring John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson. In the original image, Jackson and Travolta are seen wielding guns pointed in the direction of a man they intend to shoot in a matter of seconds.

Banksy’s graffiti work is a form of pastiche because it incorporates every part of the original image into it with the exception of one minor detail: the two men are wielding bananas rather than guns as originally depicted. The goal of this work was to show a parody of the movie that allowed people to think about the glorification of violence in modern society. The original image is meant to convey a sense of danger, violence and domination. Banksy questions that status by placing a harmless object in the place of violent weapons.

PART II

The website we viewed as a part of this assignment is an example of pastiche in that it analyzes “facts” from popular social and pop culture and turns them into somewhat educational graphs.

The graphs themselves add a sense of parody to the facts. Because of this, the graphs themselves become comical, and provide a source of entertainment to viewers who visit the website. Although the graphs question the status of the original facts, they are not entirely credible to begin with. The images used to portray them are what makes it entertaining.

The graph that I chose to examine, a breakdown of McDonald’s McRib, is not a credible source of nutritional information. Given a different supplier, perhaps McDonald’s, the graph might come out looking a little different. However, those of use who have eaten a McRib know that at least a few of the categories listed in the graph do appear in an actual sandwich (chewy bits, fat,etc.). The addition of “part of a couch” is what makes this a parody.

 

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