A New Immersive Installation in Paris Lets You Step inside Klimt’s Masterpieces
Blink and you’ll miss them, but over the course of its 29 seasons, The Simpsons has incorporated a plethora of sly art-historical references into its plots. Some of the best feature in an episode titled “Mom and Pop Art,” in the course of which Jasper Johns makes a stellar guest turn as a kleptomaniacal party crasher. (Less probable: Homer fleetingly becomes a successful artist.)
The episode itself is worth a watch—rarely has the art world been satirized quite so deftly—but there is one scene in particular that sticks in the mind. Visiting a museum for inspiration, Homer drifts off to sleep and dreams of wandering through the scenery of paintings by the likes of Henri Rousseau, Pablo Picasso, and Andy Warhol.
Brief though the sequence is, the idea it proposes is seductive; the notion of stepping through the frame of our favorite paintings and quite literally inhabiting them will always have a powerful imaginative pull. And while we might not envy Homer’s particular experience (he is, variously, beaten up by Leonardo da Vinci’s 15th-century Vitruvian Man; pelted with Campbell’s soup cans by Warhol; and gunned down by Picasso’s Three Musicians from 1921), few would pass up the chance to immerse themselves in a masterpiece.