The Michelin Man’s Perv Brother: An Art Critique

The subject of my first critique.

After my first venture into art criticism, my foray into that field stopped. It wasn’t because of a lack of desire, it was that I could not find a suitable painting to critique. And then came yesterday.

I was on my way to my favorite coffee-house, Smelly Cat Coffeehouse, for a hot chocolate, skim milk, shot of raspberry, no whipped cream. About a block from The Cat, I saw the painting I’d been looking for. I couldn’t believe it. I’d been driving past it for weeks without really paying it the attention that art like this deserves.


The painting that I will be critiquing is part of a sign for a used tire store. The artist painted it directly on the brick wall of the building housing the business. I don’t know who the artist is. I’m certain it is not Picasso. I am also sure that it is not Jean Calomeni.

Behold, the subject of this critique:

Artist unknown, photo by me,

Because I don’t know the artist, I don’t know what he or she intended this work to be called. This entitles me, as an art critic, to make my own title for the painting. I have decided to call this painting Bib, The Michelin Man’s Perv Brother, In A Loin Cloth.

Generally, I caution people against too closely examining anyone wearing a loin cloth. I’ll make an exception in this case. I’ve already looked the painting over and can attest that it is safe for you.

I think the most striking thing about this work is the loin cloth. It is an unusual wardrobe choice. This is someone who wants to hide his valve stem, but he doesn’t want to hide it very much.

The color choice is interesting. Bib, The Michelin Man, is a stark white color. The artist clearly modeled this work upon him, but chose to go with a grayer skin tone. Perhaps it indicates an illness – an illness intended to draw the consumer into making a purchase out of sympathy. If this is the case, I find it shameful. It is unethical to feign illness for financial gain, even in a portrait.

The peace sign is a nice touch. It harkens back to the 1960’s and ’70’s, while delivering a hopeful message for today’s dangerous world.

Most curious of all the elements of this painting is the posture of the subject. Stooped over, with legs spread shoulder width and bent at the knees is not a way of standing that we commonly see. It is generally accepted in Western culture that standing up straight projects an air of confidence and trustworthiness. The stooped, bowlegged posture depicted is not body language that we like to see from those we do business with. It is an odd choice for an art piece meant to draw customers.

I will enjoy this depiction of Bib The Michelin Man’s Perv Brother, In A Loin Cloth whenever I go for hot chocolate. It is odd, and far from a museum piece, but perhaps that is part of its appeal. Or something like that.

See art that needs criticism? Send me a photo! No, seriously, send them. Please.


45 Comments on “The Michelin Man’s Perv Brother: An Art Critique”

  1. Laura says:

    That’s not a loin cloth; it’s a tire functioning as a Hula Hoop. And his posture is bent because he’s in mid-spin. Clearly you have no appreciation for fine art.

  2. Your critiques are among the best in the art world. I concur with your observations about Bib. In my opinion, he looks like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle unmasked. Perhaps he and the turtles are long lost art world cousins given the turtles’ names (Donatello, Michelangelo, Leonardo, and Raphael). I question whether that is a peace sign or Bib signaling to you that he wants a hot chocolate with two shots of raspberry..

  3. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Clearly the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man just tried on the Tin Man’s armor…

    …and a poorly placed tube top.

    The real message here is don’t do drugs.

  4. Blogdramedy says:

    I think the key word in this post comes close to the end… “odd.”

    Lucky for the rest of us your forte is oddities and their appearance in everyday life. Now that I know you’re accepting applications, I’ll get right on that. I’ve got a couple I need your expert opinion on. 🙂

  5. I am horrified to think this, much less to say it out loud, but Bib . . . well. . . I totally agree that he shares DNA characteristics of the Michelin Man, but there’s also a striking resemblance to a mutant Testudo. I don’t want to think about how that could have come about.

  6. The Oma Today Project Director says:

    >> See art that needs criticism? Send me a photo! No, seriously, send them. Please.

    The Oma doesn’t say much. Kind of the strong, silent type. Maybe you could help him out?

  7. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I’m thrilled that you’ve returned to one of the things you do so well – art critique. I learned so much during your last review of the painting at the top. I do believe it has made me a better artist.

    This faux Mich Man hasn’t nearly the pleasing heft and bulk that his cousin does. He looks a bit deflated in places, which is why I would not buy a tire from him. I can understand the wide stance, being here in Idaho – oops, that was another dude. Anyway, when one’s thighs are large, it is difficult to bring the legs together in a normal stance. I don’t know this from first hand experience, mind you. The dingy gray is disturbing. It fills me with angst. And the working of that tire tread is a rip off of that famous illusionist, MC Escher.

    Please continue with this series, Oma. It is highly instructive and will keep me focused on what works and what doesn’t.

  8. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I’m glad his valve is not showing!!

  9. Debbie says:

    Bib doesn’t inspire confidence here. His expression is questioning, like he’s not quite sure of his purpose or whether those used tires are of good quality. And the peace sign? Maybe he’s simply trying to get folks to buy two tires — but that doesn’t make much sense, does it, when cars have four? Unless it’s a two-for-one deal.

  10. The grey skin color comes from this guy actually being a zombie. They are clearly trying to appeal to the masses. Zombies are really hot right now.

  11. patty punker says:

    and why pray tell does he have a prom queen sash? it just doesn’t get any more random.

  12. simonandfinn says:

    oh i love this! so funny – great humour, teasing yet not caustic – thanks so much!

  13. Jackie Cangro says:

    I think he also has some Sumo Wrestler DNA going on under that loin cloth.

  14. Betty says:

    Hard to stand up straight when you’re carrying a spare tire like that around your mid section.

  15. Lenore Diane says:

    I wish I could un-see what I see. I didn’t see it, but I looked again after the reservoir tip comment. I stared – I stared – and I stared some more. And then I said, “Oh my stars. Take it back. Good gracious. Take. it. back!”

    I can’t un-see it!!

  16. edrevets says:

    It’s such a beautiful statement on our post-modern unreality.

  17. susielindau says:

    He kind of resembles a Mutant Ninja Turtle too! Hahaha!
    Fun blog. I am glad I stopped by….

  18. linlah says:

    Um, that might be nice in your garage.

  19. planetross says:

    Bibendum is classic!

    You asked for photos:

  20. HAHAHAHA …. Until I read the blog, I thought it was supposed to be a Mutant Ninja Turtle!!

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