A pun with death, a dance on the beach

On Pinterest this morning, this Grim Reaper cartoon by Myke Ashley-Cooper (under the name Ashley Cooper):

(#1)

A pun on death/deaf or a mishearing, take your pick.

This cartoon led me to Ashley-Cooper’s site, which announces:

This Humor Website is about
Funny Cartoons and Funny Pictures as well as
Crazy Jokes and Animations

(many of them based on puns and wordplays).  And that led me to Ashley-Cooper’s take-off on a famous painting:

(#2)

The original of the cartoon caricature is Jack Vettriano’s The Singing Butler (1992):

(#3)

From Wikipedia on Vettriano:

Jack Vettriano (né Jack Hoggan, born 17 November 1951), is a [self-taught] Scottish painter. His 1992 painting, The Singing Butler, became a best-selling image in Britain.

[from the section on critical responses:] “His ‘popularity’ rests on cheap commercial reproductions of his paintings.” … Vettriano has been labelled a chauvinist whose “women are sexual objects, frequently half naked and vulnerable, always in stockings and stilettos”

Vettriano is fabulously successful with the public — one site reports that he outsells Dali, Monet, and van Gogh — though not at all with art critics. His paintings have been lovingly copied and varied by others, as in Zhaana’s Wedding Dance on the Beach (an homage to The Snging Butleron DeviantArt:

(#4)

Another Vettriano beach painting, The Picnic Party:

(#5)

And then one indoors, The Man in the Mirror:

(#6)

Vettriano’s debt to commercial illustration (in the mold of, say, J. C. Leyendecker) should be clear, and the style suffuses everything the artist has done, including the many overtly sexual images. Eventually, although the art establishment remains cool to Vettriano, the fashion world has warmed to him. From the Elite Traveler site, “A Fitting Tribute: Stefano Ricci Honors Jack Vettriano”:

The Stefano Ricci Tribute to Vettriano exhibition will … launch the 10th International Short Film Festival Salento Finibus Terrae [2012] in Borgo Egnazia di Savelletri, Italy. The exhibition complements Stefano Ricci’s latest fashion collection, inspired by the paintings of the Scottish artist.

(Ricci is an Italian designer of luxury men’s fashion.)

(#7)

On the left, Vettriano’s painting Pincer Movement; on the right, Ricci’s re-creation.

[Puzzled note. The Elite Traveler site reports on events and locations you might want to travel to (like the Salento Finibus Terrae [the Salento Region] film festival), often with quite specific time references (today in the Vettriano Tribute story, for instance), but with absolutely no indications of the year when a story was posted, and only very rarely a month and day. I had to search around to discover that the 10th Salento Finibus Terrae festival was in 2012.

Why on earth would a travel site do this?]

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