On this day in art history, the Italian-American painter L. Marie Marchi completed her painting, Four Figures On A Step featuring Hello Kitty.
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On this day in art history, the Italian-American painter L. Marie Marchi completed her painting Pope Joan At Via Scara featuring Hello Kitty. The painting depicts the legendary Pope Joan giving birth in the middle of a papal procession while Hello Kitty drives by. This painting, the first of Marchi’s featuring Hello Kitty series, currently hangs in the Denton Museum of Art (DMA) in Denton, Texas.
Though originally dismissed by art critics, Pope Joan At Via Scara featuring Hello Kitty subsequently became very popular with the public when a copy of the painting was used to decorate the cafeteria at St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas, Texas. This copy was seen by a few members of the Walnut Hill Catholic Wives and Mothers Auxiliary who quickly fell in love with the whimsical yet disturbing picture. The WHCWMA commissioned several t-shirts decorated with the image of Pope Joan At Via Scara featuring Hello Kitty and from there, a grassroots fashion movement was born.
Sadly, the featuring Hello Kitty series has been on hiatus since 2002, the results of several accusations of various copyright infringements. L. Marie Marchi has promised that the series will continue once the lawsuits have been settled.
On this day in art history, English painter Joseph Serf died in Santa Monica, California. Or did he? In his upcoming book The Serf Deception, noted art historian Dennis Ganz argues that Serf faked his own death in order to increase the value of his paintings at auction. According to Ganz, Serf is currently known as Silvio Marchi and is living in a secluded villa near the Italian village of Melissa. The executor of Serf’s estate, attorney Erica Meehan, has denied Ganz’s claims.
On this day in art history, the American painter Giovanni DeGrasslo first unveiled what contemporary art critics considered to be his greatest work — Al Capone As I Knew Him. At the time, many observers noted that the painting appeared to be almost as much a self-portrait of DeGrasslo as much as being a portrait of notorious gangster Al Capone. Ten minutes after revealing the painting, DeGrasslo took it out to the alley behind his studio and set it on fire. DeGrasslo habits of destroying his paintings shortly after completing them is speculated to be the reason why he remains largely an unknown artist.