Instadeath: Envy

7:00 AM

Curated by Alex McDonald

Giotto, Envy, 1305

*Curator’s Note: The paintings within this collection were taken by the author to be the artwork for the album covers of a fictional metal band called Instadeath. The following is a fictionalized interview with Instadeath front man Jacques Padavona on the release of their first album, titled Invidia.
Padavona’s dressing room reeked of rock n’ roll: dirty socks, sweaty leather jackets, and incense of the illegal nature. Clothes, empty bottles, and fast food wrappers littered the floor. And there he sat, legs crossed, atop his unmade bed. Black hair, black shirt, black jeans, and black aviators. It was amazing, the Reporter thought, that one could have so much money and still live like an animal.
“Should we get started, Mr. Padavona?”
“Fire when ready.”
“Well, do you have a place for me to sit?”
“The floors my usual spot.”
The Reporter looked down at his feet, which had disappeared under Whopper and McRib wrappers. “I think I’ll elect to stand. Now, I understand your first album, Invidia, will be released next week and it features a rather interesting choice for the album cover. Would you mind explaining your use of Giotto’s Envy?”
“You mean gee-o-toe.”
“It’s pronounced gee-o-toe.”
“Uh, I’m pretty certain it’s Giotto.”
“Whatever. If you want to look like an idiot in your own interview be my guest.”
“That’s completely alright with me.”
“You know, I see what you’re doing. The worlds full of stupid people, right? Well the amount of smart people has been increasing, which, believe it or not, is a bad thing. The number of smart people needs to be low for them to still be able to call themselves smart. If the everyday man could understand quantum physics imagine what one would have to do in order to be considered above average intelligence. So, I respect what you’re doing. Taking one for the team in order to let the smarties of the world feel good and the idiots-”
“Giotto. I asked about Giotto. Let’s stick with Giotto, if you please.”
“Kay…” Jacques took out his smart phone and looked at it. “I like Gee-o-toe. He’s the man, but not the man. Just the man, in the good way. For me, he started art. I mean, what was there before him? Cave paintings and pyramids! He practically discovered the paintbrush, much like how Led Zepplin discovered music. He created perspective, for God’s sake! I know Envy isn’t a good example of that so you’ll have to take my word as an expert art historian. Now let’s take a closer look at Envy. You know why I love Gee-o-toe, but why this fresco? Personally, I like the cosmic feel to it. You ever see Castagno’s Last Supper? There’s this abstract storm of energy in the windows behind the table that transports you to this otherworldly realm. It heightens the importance of the event for me. Envy works like that too if you pay attention to the border and background. I know that’s what marble usually looks like, but for me it places Gee-o-toe’s human personification of envy in this incredibly modern take on Hell.
“At the same time though, Envy still is a product of its time. The flames coming up to consume the figure are of a conventional Catholic interpretation of Hell. Then the snake slithering out his mouth to blind him shows how his own envy will inhibit his judgment. Also, I think he may somehow be cuckolding himself with these feelings of envy, which explains his horns. That or this figure is just a straight up demonic disciple of Satan. Finally, Invidia, Italian for envy, etched in stone above the disciple’s head channels old testament punishment, which is the only kind of punishment worthwhile.”
The Reporter looked up from his notebook. “You know, that wasn’t all that bad. You had a pretty decent interpretation of that fresco.”
“Thanks,” Jacques said, putting his phone away. “I just read that all off the internet.”
“Yeah, check out the My Kid Could Paint That blog site sometime. It comes in handy.”
“If you just read that off your phone, why did you really pick this painting?”
“Dude, the guy’s puking a snake. How cool is that?”

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