Art Criticism: Brick Oven Pizza

One of the wonderful things about art is how it touches you when you least expect it. Today’s art critique is an example of that.

Last night, I stopped for a bite at a favorite restaurant. You might expect me to say that I found this painting in the restaurant. If you do, you’re wrong. This painting touched me when you didn’t expect it to. One of the unexpected ways that art can touch a person is from the window of a clothing consignment shop when all that person really wants is some gnocchi.

Why would a clothing shop feature a painting for sale in its front window? I don’t know, let’s attribute that to that unexpected element of art.


The white thing in front is a mannequin. All the best art comes from clothing consignment stores.

I don’t know who painted this. The white thing in front is a mannequin. All the best art comes from clothing consignment stores.

I think it was Rod Stewart, but it may have been someone even older, who first said “every picture tells a story“. This painting proves Rod and that theoretical other person right. This picture tells a story

Knowing which story the artist intended to share with us is challenging. As your art critic, I try to bring you certainty, or something like that. This painting leaves me conflicted. I’ve no choice but to discuss both of the tales that I believe that the artist may have wanted us to enjoy.

Tale number one

As you can see, this painting depicts a nude, Rubenesque* woman emerging from a wood-fired pizza oven. This is the finest pizza oven ever. It is the only pizza oven ever sculpted from marble.

No one should enter a hot pizza oven. That brings us to the unanswered question of this piece of art – what is the woman’s motivation for being in this obviously cool oven? The way we answer that question informs our vision of the painting.

I suppose you could see this woman as a nudist involved in a game of hide and seek. Her head is turned toward the right edge of the painting because the person who is “it” has run past her hiding place. Thrilled that her logic that no one would believe a nudist would climb into this dark, sooty cavity was correct, she is emerging to run back to “base” and win the game.

Tale number two

The more likely story that the artist is trying to tell with his picture is an inspiring tale of a woman who won’t be held down by society. Yes, this is a painting of the first woman to become a pizza oven repair technician. She is emerging from another successful interior resurfacing job or perhaps a fire-box replacement.

In our era, we are rightfully offended when we hear someone say things like “she is the best female pizza oven repair person I’ve ever known”. It is important that we recognize skill for what it is – something that isn’t diminished by gender.

Back at the time of this painting’s creation, women were not readily recognized for being accomplished at what they did. To make ends meet and attract business, the subject of our painting had to play upon her sexuality to get work that men of the same era were able to get without undressing. Today, we call this era the 1970’s.

So behold again, my friends, a painting. A painting of a pizza oven and a nude woman of indistinct motivation. Enjoy it.

I’m going for pizza, what do you want on your half?

*You think I’m not an art critic? Did you notice that I used the word Rubenesque? Thank you.


32 Comments on “Art Criticism: Brick Oven Pizza”

  1. Doesn’t “Rubenesque” mean “big, fat chick?” I learned that from “Silence of the Lambs.” I’m now qualified to critique literature.

  2. Laura says:

    Obviously, the woman has misplaced her clothes. She’s looked everywhere. Finally, in desperation, she searched the interior of the pizza oven — but her clothes weren’t there either. She’s finally accepted that she needs to buy some clothes, possibly at a nice consignment shop.

  3. Blogdramedy says:

    It’s obvious she doesn’t have implants.

  4. List of X says:

    I think this just a picture of an ancient Roman tanning bed.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Maybe she doesn’t want the bird to escape.

  6. What’s up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo? Pillars of society or pizza delivery guys?

  7. Theresa says:

    I’m trying to sort out the wristbands and the bird. Actually, the wristbands I get, it’s hot in there. But the bird?

  8. I think the original line may have been “FIVE and twenty blackbirds baked into a pie” but clearly the nude baker had done a less than proficient job at crimping the dough around the edges properly and one has escaped. The painting speaks to me not so much about the virtues of proper pastry crimping as it does mans inhumanity to man as well as his ever-ready excuse to have women pose nude for damn near any subject. How much was it, anyway?

  9. lbwoodgate says:

    “As you can see, this painting depicts a nude, Rubenesque* woman emerging from a wood-fired pizza oven.”

    This would make her a true “hotty” in every sense of the word, no?

  10. The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw this had nothing to do with pizza. The “oven” made me think of a CT Scan machine. That is why she is nude. I think she was trying to make her escape as those thing can make you claustrophobic. I think it is very sad that I didn’t see the pizza oven.

  11. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Geez! All these years I thought rubenesque was the name of one of those delicious pastrami and swiss sandwiches on toasted rye that you can only get at a NYC Jewish deli. That must be why the waitresses always laughed at me when I ordered one.

  12. FiddlinErin says:

    It’s got to be a cannibal pizza oven, because of all of the cannobal’s trophy heads which are holding up the pizza oven. This chick was just lucky enough to escape.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It looks like she’s trying to capture the bird.

  14. Dan Hennessy says:

    I just don’t think it’s a pizza oven . And what’s all this talk about cannibals ? Where did you people get your art degrees ? Something is rotten in Denmark . Maybe it’s Denmark ? I think we should all rethink this thing .

  15. Melissa Hollingsworth says:

    I have to agree with the cannibal theory. The sad faces on those heads tell a tale of horror and fear… maybe she should have talked to one of those heads before she climbed into the oven. Her nudity is more about using her Rubenesque body to tempt the oven operator, there by allowing her to get out of the oven so he can get a better view…at which point she releases the bird which pecks at his eyes, allowing her to escape.

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