Shouldn’t everyone enjoy at least one disturbing, ridiculous, and potentially true thing each day? Well if you exit London’s Aldgate East tube station and head north to the top of Brick Lane, it could happen. The quick turnover rate and the high quality of the street art make it one of London’s art hotspots, and on a lucky day you might get rattled by one of JoeBloggs’ poignant, satirical and very funny pieces.
At first glance the three inter-related posters that I found appeared to be silly, eye-catching photo-ops that simply appropriated Andy Warhol’s unmistakable soup cans, but Bloggs reinterprets Andy’s construct by piling on recognizable logos and witty labels that make these posters leap off of the crowded walls.
Joe Bloggs’s loud posters mercilessly exploit our dietary phobias, and therein fulfills the daily quota of disturbing-ridiculous-and-potentially-true things.
The mere mention of Corleone’s Condensed Horse Head Soup, immediately summons Marlin Brando’s ruthless scene in The Godfather (1972), where this slightly overbearing, sadly misunderstood, bat-wielding, cranium-crushing Mafia boss orders a bloody horse’s head to be placed in bed with a sleeping, non-cooperative rival. The screaming! The blood! And now, thanks to Joe Bloggs, mystery meat soup.
Bloggs’ movie villain/tainted food product theme continues with Al Pacino as Tony Montana in the film Scarface (1983). Set during the heyday of the Miami drug years, Montana, a ne’er-do-well Cuban refugee immediately flourishes as a machine-gun toting, crazed coke-head. The film also featured chainsaws, screaming, very loud radios, cheap motels, mountains of coke. And more coke. So if I lived in the area, eating some of Tony Montana’s Condensed Cockroach Soup, would probably be the least of my worries.
Reality shifts in the third poster. Whereas the Miami and New York characters are fictitious, Charlie and Eddie Richardson, with a solid investment in scrap metal, ruled London’s underworld.
What makes this label the most chilling is that brother Eddie is still alive today. Even more bizarre is that following 23 years in prison, he has morphed into a successful painter, fundraising philanthropist, and celebrated public speaker!
So which to choose – the fictitious Hollywood Horse Head Soup, a ladle full of South Beach’s crunchy Cockroach Soup, or the vague possibility of being force-fed London’s Scrap Metal Soup?
There are several more unappetizing soups still lurking out there, including: Chatting Nonsense Talking Shit Soup; Cockney’s Condensed London Particular Soup; Vader’s Condensed Dark Side Soup; Yoda’s Condensed Nine Hundred Year Old Soup; and Al Capone’s Condensed Saint Valentines Soup.
Partially due to Joe’s posters, the uproar over the simplicity of Warhol’s original soup can labels is showing its age and now sounds as exciting as chicken consommé. JoeBloggsArtist has outdone himself in fulfilling my quest for a “disturbing-ridiculous-and-potentially-true thing – today.
“If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.” Abraham Lincoln