"Diddy Vs. The Mona Lisa!!"

John Berger might have a lot of fun looking at the above image of Sean Combs standing in front of the Mona Lisa on display at the Louvre in Paris.  Here is the embodiment of the publicity image that Berger describes, making a direct reference to past art, transmitted to the world via Twitter.com, a website that is perhaps the most successful publicity vehicle yet invented.

Combs quotes the Mona Lisa, and benefits by associating himself with the wealth and beauty inscribed in that painting.  Berger wrote that, “art also has cultural authority, which makes it superior to mere materialism.”  More than any other contemporary musical genre, rap almost since its inception has had a well-documented relationship with consumer culture and hyper-materialism.  Sean Combs is one of, if not the main figure associated with the next level of commercialization that rap reached in the late 1990s and early 2000s through lavish music videos and the portrayal of an extravagant lifestyle garnered by music sales riches.  One gets the sense that Combs understands the importance of linking the consumerism he has traditionally been associated with, to a level of “cultural refinement” he will depend on as he advances in age to assume a more elder statesman role in his industry.

What publicity now understands is that today, the endless craving for “content” will make its job of assuring the beneficial linkages between itself and Art that much easier.  In this case, Best Week Ever does the honors:

Not all 1.02 million Google results reference the “Diddy vs. Lisa” image.  It starts going far afield on about page 9.  Still impressive though.

Appropos of very little (Andy Warhol was an artist who lived and worked at the intersection of publicity and celebrity), I wanted to post this image:

L-R: Andy Warhol, Cyndi Lauper, Hulk Hogan, "Mean" Gene Okerlund at Wrestlemania I, March 1985.

Some cozy up to the  Mona Lisa, others like hanging out with The Hulkster.