Joe Schmoe Paints Madonna on the Mona Lisa

Op-Ed: Is smearing food on the ‘Mona Lisa’ a productive form of climate change protest?

The ‘Mona Lisa’ (by far the world’s most famous painting and the one everyone has in their mind when they think of art) depicts a reclining female holding a smiley-face looking right at her viewer’s face. In other words, the Mona Lisa is smiling right at you. So it’s no surprise that, while the Mona Lisa was painted in 1507 by the 15thcentury-trained artist Michelangelo, she has many critics.

And it’s no shock either that the Mona Lisa has been an active target of the pro-climate-change lobby.

In a series of articles and opinion pieces published in the US and UK media over the past several years, the pro-global-warming lobby has attacked the painting on the grounds that it’s the most powerful symbol of human vanity – the idealized face of a woman who is “too happy.”

As is so often the case when the climate lobby gets its way, the world’s first ‘unhappy’ women have become the butt of a lot of laughs. And now comes an American artist named Joe Schmoe, who has tried to bring light – with his satirical work – to the dark side of the matter.

Last week, Schmoe decided to paint his portrait of Madonna on the ‘Mona Lisa’ at the Guggenheim Museum, of New York.

According to Schmoe, a professor of creative writing and art and a prominent activist against the fossil-fuel industry – he’s also a member of the US Climate Caucus – he decided to paint a portrait of the world’s most popular pop artist on the French masterpiece, as a gesture of protest.

The Mona Lisa became such a target for the far-left that, in March 2013, a group of artists including Schmoe, as well as artist David Hockney and poet Robert Hass, created a collage that juxtaposed the Mona Lisa and other famous female icons and images against the words: �

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