The Lighter Side of... Hitler!
Well, not Hitler exactly, but the Chapman brothers' defacement of his artwork.
Those brothers grim, Jake and Dinos, bought a bunch of the Fuhrer's watercolors a while back, causing shivers to run down the spines of horrified citizens everywhere. Turns out they had nothing to fear.
The men's work displays an obsession with organized death--they've had their way with Goya, and created a sculpture called Hell--detailed with other work in the video below--which featured dioramas filled with miniature representations of many, many imaginative torments. Their recent, and similarly-themed (though much-differently executed) show Little Death Machines was dismissively reviewed by Ken Johnson in today's New York Times as a one-note gimmick, but if they're only capable of one note, I'll eagerly listen. At least until I can't stand it anymore.
Unlike Tom Sachs' ill-conceived consumerism/Holocaust debacle of a few years back (He just missed the green revolution by thismuch. Could've been a visionary with that rationalization!), the Chapmans apply meticulous method to their love affair with madness.
The Hitler doodles add another note to their oeuvre anyway, one of post-Holocaust glee. The Chapmans don't just dance on his grave, they hold a rave on it. The chemical sunsets and floating hearts surrounding Hitler's pedestrian architectural facades are ominous, but only after you've had a chance to laugh out loud at them. By destroying the watercolors' value as Fuhrer-created art and subverting them into Chapman-based art, the boys have triumphed over evil at least this once.
Why should Banksy get all the ironic graffitti love? Here's to vandalism with a purpose.