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Batman’s Guitar – An Art Critique

Do you know Eric Carroll? You should.

He is a blogger. He advocates for those with food allergies. Like me, it flies all over him to hear anyone called a retard. Unlike me, he plays guitar in the band Ernie and The Berts (check out their video for their song Toybox). He builds guitars. He might have participated in my surgery back in December, but I’m not certain of that because I was sleeping.

He does it all. Eric is the renaissance man, without the poofy pants and weird collar.

This post has nothing to do with him, though I know it is hard to know that so far. This post has everything to do with the cool painting he provided me to critique. Neither of us have been able to determine who the artist is. We know it isn’t him and it isn’t me.

Let’s give this work of art a look, shall we?

Behold!

Poor, Poor Batman

My first reaction to this painting is “poor, poor Batman”. He looks crushed.

The artist leaves it to us to imagine what happened to deal The Caped Crusader such an emotional blow. He sits on a gargoyle, high on a building at night. He is indifferent to the Bat Signal as he plays his guitar.

It has been written that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Even though the artist has whited out his soul windows, Batman’s gaze proves the axiom. The downcast look, the grimace, and that he’s turned his eyes from the work that drives him, make it clear that he is struggling with his feelings.

The painting makes me wonder what Batman might play at such a time. The easy answer is some old blues, perhaps the Lightnin’ Hopkins version of Trouble In Mind. It could be a more modern piece, maybe some Jackson Browne or the like. Because of his mood, I think we can rule out bluegrass, though I’m certain The Caped Crusader can pick with the best of them.

What Does It All Mean?

The setting has that 2 am feel. Batman is a man alone with his thoughts, strumming and perhaps singing softly to himself. No one knows he is there. The lights of nearby vacant offices do not illuminate him. He is high enough up that the few pedestrians left on the street don’t hear him. Even the janitors working the late shift in the building that looks like a newly sharpened pencil are unaware of our hero’s emotional moment.

When will he turn his head? Batman’s help is needed, but it is hard to say if he has it in him tonight to leap into action once he sees the Bat Signal. It would probably do him a lot of good to pull himself together and re-engage with the city below. Isolation is not best for Batman, nor anyone else who is feeling down.

I think that is what the artist wants us to learn from this work. Things happen. We struggle. We must lift our heads.  Like Batman, we have to realize that life goes on around us. Most importantly, our lives can and must go on because we are all someone’s super hero.

Or something like that.

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57 Comments on “Batman’s Guitar – An Art Critique”

  1. Let us not overlook the significance of his left-handed guitar playing. Clearly this is a superhero distraught over Arby’s discontinuation of Bronco Berry Sauce.

  2. Todd Pack says:

    I love this painting. My first reaction was that it was just cheesy, but I think it captures the sweet melancholy that surely comes from being a billionaire playboy who dons night and watches over his city anonymously in the wee small hours of the morning. A masterpiece!

  3. We Found Him Captain! says:

    I think he’s sad because he’s out of insulin…….

  4. Lenore Diane says:

    Finally. A painting that will not lead to me having nightmares. I like this one. Perhaps he is strumming a Bob Segar tune, “Turn the Page”. Or, he’s channeling his inner John Denver. We all have an inner John Denver. Yes we do – don’t try to deny it.
    Your critique is excellent, Oma. I swear I heard Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” playing in the background when I read the last paragraph.

    • omawarisan says:

      Ha ha ha… “most time you can hear em talk, other times you can’t. All the same old clichés…”

      Look, I’ll admit to the inner John Denver for that song about Jacques cousteau’s boat, but I’m stopping it there.

  5. writerdood says:

    How about this one?

  6. Holy Arts Smarts, Blurt Man! To me, it looks like “Zoink! Went the strings of his heart!” (And maybe his guitar.)

    Loved Eric’s post about the R-word. Word.

  7. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    WOW. Thanks for the resounding blog endorsement! Ha ha.

    I think I found the original artist using Google’s search by image function: http://joshuadrummond.com/portfolio/43/ He calls it “Behind Blue Eyes”. Perhaps that’s the song? It may be apropos. “No one knows what it’s like” and all.

    I was tagged in it when someone posted it on Facebook, so I also shared.

    Something about the guitar & the posture puts me in the mind of Flamenco playing. I mean, after all, Batman is a master of all things that he tries… so why not play with the linting-fast speed of a Flamenco player?

    And to play through gloves? That is a true super power.

    But…

    Things happen. We struggle. We must lift our heads. Like Batman, we have to realize that life goes on around us. Most importantly, our lives can and must go on because we are all someone’s super hero.

    …are words to live by.

  8. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    Also, if I were Batman, I’d play a Batman guitar.

  9. Debbie says:

    Everybody seems to think Batman in this painting is sad. Perhaps he’s angry! The straight line of his mouth could indicate anger, couldn’t it? At any rate, music soothes the savage beast, so he’s obviously taking advantage of that fact. Doesn’t look like he’s playing hard rock, though. More likely, a ballad. Something calming. Maybe.

  10. Wendy says:

    I think he is sad because gargoyles are a hard and lumpy seat.

    “I got the gargoyle spine up my butt bluuuues.
    The pain radiates down to my bat shooooes.”

  11. Rich Crete says:

    I weep for this superhero for he clearly has run out of Cheetos.

  12. I think it’s significant that Robin isn’t in the picture.

  13. When he finally does decide to snap out of it and get to work, the people are signaling him, what will he do with the guitar? Will he gently place it against the wall and hope for no wind or will he take it with himl How did he get it up there in the first place? I feel like he’s just feeling sorry for him. Take some Lexapro and get over it Batman.

  14. frigginloon says:

    Hmm,personally, I think Batman is struggling with the latest guitar app

  15. Betty says:

    He IS the gargoyle.

  16. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    The angst is palpable. The colors are so somber. His expression says so much. His patellas are so pronounced. That moon is elliptical. That’s all I’ve got.

  17. Louise says:

    I own the original of this painting. Just saying. 😀 *humblebrag*

    Original artist is Josh Drummond. http://joshuadrummond.com/portfolio/43/

  18. Well, this is rather nice. I did this painting and would like to thank you for your kind, considered critique. I think I can clear up some of the painting’s hidden mysteries. The painting is entitled “Behind Blue Eyes,” which is also the title of a song by The Who. The lyrics to this go:

    No-one knows what it’s like/
    To be the bad man/
    To be the sad man/
    Behind blue eyes
    No one knows what it’s like/
    To be hated/
    To be fated/
    To telling only lies/
    But my dreams/
    They aren’t as empty/
    As my conscience seems to be/
    I have hours/
    Only lonely/
    My love is vengeance/
    That’s never free

    [Breakdown: DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!]

    When my fist clenches, crack it open/
    Before I use it and lose my cool/
    When I smile, tell me some bad news/
    Before I laugh, and act like a fool/

    … and so on.

    So yeah, the painting is a bit of a joke inspired by a pun in the first verse. Listen to the song on YouTube or wherever and you should be able to spot it. But overall I thought the lyrics were nicely appropriate to the Batman, the sad man, behind blue eyes.

    This was the second painting I did since I finished high school. I’ve now done three. I may even think about doing four.

    • omawarisan says:

      Thanks for stopping by, Joshua. I’ll either update the post to give you credit or remove it, your choice! Thanks also for taking the post in the spirit it was written.

      • No worries. Feel free to update the post for credit – I’d be sorry to see it removed. One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a good while. More critiques of strange internet art are needed.


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