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Super Bowl Subplot #2: Trash-Talking Art Nerds

There are several key storylines that all media outlets are required to discuss in the days leading up to the Super Bowl. We will do our part by beating them into the ground as far as we can.

Everyone knows about the traditional Mayor's Bet between the chief executives of the Super Bowl cities—which is not even worth discussing this year because all the Mayor of Indianapolis had to offer was shrimp cocktail ... to New Orleans. (Gee, thanks, but I think the Ninth Ward already has a Red Lobster. Oy vey.) Instead the city's two art museums decided they would get involved by wagering their favorite paintings on the outcome of the big game and, oh boy, did that set off a shitstorm. These catty bitches know how to fight.


It all started when Indianapolis Museum of Art director Max Anderson proposed loaning an Ingrid Calame painting the New Orleans Museum of Art, should the Colts somehow fail to win the title. NOMA's E. John Bullard shot back, by basically saying "We don't want your crappy painting. We own a Renoir—it's in Paris right now ... as in France, a-holes—so sack up, because we know Drew Brees ain't letting that mess out of town. Then it was fucking on.

Your turn, Indy:

We'll see the sentimental blancmange by that "China Painter" and raise you a proper trophy: [A Jean-Valentine Morel jeweled cup, which won the Grand Medal at the 1855 Paris World Fair.]"

A pimp cup? Oh, sweet! Bring it, Big Sleazy....

I am amused that Renoir is too sweet for Indianapolis. Does this mean that those Indiana corn farmers have simpler tastes? If so why would Max offer us that gaudy Chalice — just looks like another over-elaborate Victorian tchotchke. Let's get serious. Each museum needs to offer an art work that they would really miss for three months. What would you like Max? A Monet, a Cassatt, a Picasso, a Miro? Sorry but we have no farm scenes or portraits of football players to send you."


SNAP! How does it feel, Hoosiers?! Then there was some more back talk about a bunch of dead French guys and they finally settled on a fair price. I think it's agreed that if New Orleans wins they get Van Gogh's good ear and if the Colts pull it out, Dallas Clark gets to take a dump on a Cezanne.

Art museum director Super Bowl trash talk: It's on. [Modern Art Notes]
[Image: "The Fifth Plague of Egypt" by Joseph Turner, via IMA]

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