Top 10 WEIRDEST Works of Art
Hello YouTube, Jim here! Artists are known for being eccentric, but until you really dive into their work, you may not comprehend just how peculiar their minds are. Pieces throughout time have proven to twist and bend our minds through the use of incredible, surreal imagery and unusual mediums. The following works of arts are what we’d call the ten weirdest.
Saturn Devouring His Son
Calling to mind paintings like the Massacre of Innocents, which portrayed Herod the Great’s infanticide to protect his throne and Francisco Goya’s Saturn Devouring His Son, it’s safe to say that patriarchal insecurities were a big thing in historic texts. Between the two vastly different images, the latter has a melancholy to it that is disturbing, whether or not you know the story behind it. According to legends, prophecies told of a son of Saturn that would overthrow him, so to prevent it from coming true, Saturn ate each child as they were born. The morbid image, Saturn’s wide eyes, the child’s limp body – they all come together in an odd, morose display of art.
Just because a painting is famous and has been reproduced on countless occasions doesn’t mean it can’t also be “weird.” Edvard Munch’s expressionist style took full form in 1893 when he brought to life what he described as "an infinite scream passing through nature.” While walking along an inlet above the sea, Munch found himself inspired by the blood-red color of the sky, as if it were bleeding. Combining the scream of nature with the bloody clouds overhead, Munch created The Scream, a strange work that has received much acclaim and garnered a lot of money.
In 2008, surreal horror artist Karl Persson took his brush, a selection of oil paints, and somehow ended up creating this nightmarish little devil. Aptly titled Lunch Monkey, the creation is everything we expect to see in our most terrifying of dreams. The 21st--century artist may not have the recognition of more classic painters, but there’s no forgetting the wide-mouthed, wrinkly-skinned figure of Lunch Monkey. One look at this painted monstrosity and the name “Karl Persson” will be embedded in your brain forever.
Self-Portrait with Gun
The style of Self-Portrait with Gun is quite unique, definitely more-so than the title, but it’s otherwise a normal image of a young lad with a gun, right? Kind of. You see, artist Chris Trueman stepped outside of the box when deciding the best medium for his latest work and, somehow, landed on the idea to use dead ants. To create the 2010 portrait of his younger brother, Trueman used over 200,000 dead ant bodies. The piece got a lot of attention and Trueman found himself receiving high-dollar offers that far exceeded the weirdness of the image itself. According to Trueman’s own blog, the image was eventually sold to Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Figure with Meat
Produced in 1954, Francis Bacon took a portrait of Pope Innocent X and twisted it to a gruesome quality to feature a man sitting between a bisected cow. Where the Pope’s portrait, which was painted by Diego Velazquez, is without emotion, Bacon’s take instills a fear on his version of the Pope, a deranged man who seems to be screaming in terror. Without context, Figure with Meat looks to be ghostly and powerful, as if capturing the brutality of the butchering industry as the slaughtered cow hangs over a rich-looking figure. Knowing the context, however… well, the image doesn’t get any less weird.
Not all art is touched to a canvas or depicts some infamous struggle. Some are simply meant to be expressive or, in the case of Andres Serrano’s Immersion, controversial. The subject of the 1987 image is simple: Serrano submerged a small plastic crucifix into a glass of his own urine and, wouldn’t you know, quickly became the subject of much Christian backlash. Despite what the strange, award winning image portrays, Serrano claims it wasn’t a means of denouncing the Christian faith but rather alludes to how commercialized iconic religious figures like Jesus Christ have become in modern culture.
H. R. Giger’s mix of mechanical and organic elements led to the creation of Ridley Scott’s xenomorph for Alien, and while his more erotic imagery tends to get more praise, our eyes were drawn to the stand-out weirdness of Behemoth. All of Giger’s art is so alien and filled with adult imagery that the giant cat head, or what we assume to be the behemoth, seems so incredibly out of place. The surrealist created so many unusual images but his weirdest just so happened to be the one with the most recognizable element to it.
It’s not uncommon for the morbidity of death to find its way into classical works of art, but Theodore Gericault took things a step further in 1819 with Anatomical Pieces. The still life oil painting is simple in nature, but grotesque detailing of the unusual subject matter makes it more horrific than artistic. The French romanticist is best known for his 1819 work, The Raft of the Medusa, but his admiration and knowledge of anatomy often twisted his complex style into something far more outrageous and strange, like this piece of severed body parts.
The Temptation of St. Anthony
Judging by Matthias Grunewald’s depiction of the Temptation of St. Anthony, one has to assume that that temptation was… acid? Maybe mushrooms? If you know the history behind the subject, you know that the image shows the supernatural temptations that St. Anthony faced while roaming the Egyptian desert, but a fresh mind to the aged tale will see only madness and natural abominations. The German Renaissance painter earned his fame as a painter of religious art, including the Crucifixion, Christ Bearing the Cross, and The Mocking of Christ, but the Temptation of St. Anthony stands out as his oddest work we've been able to find.
Cupid Making His Bow
Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens is easily recognized through his cherubic imagery that made up much of his 17th-century works. Cupid Making His Bow offers no exception to his typical style, and while many of his images depict twisted and violent acts, it’s this peculiar work from 1614 that catches our attention. The piece is a copy of the 16th-century work of the same name by Italian artist Parmigianino, but there’s an uncomfortable devilishness to Rubens’ version that causes it to stand out. While Parmigianino’s Cupid is painted with a rigid face, Rubens’ take bears a pleasured look that eerily contrasts the terrified demeanor of the cherubs at his feet. The 1614 iteration of Rubens’ darker style is unsettling in a mischievous way.