British artist was criticised for creating a monument to a 2020 meme

British artist was criticised for creating a monument to a 2020 meme

A British artist who created a monument honouring a meme that went popular in 2020 claimed he had to defend himself against detractors who thought a “internet joke” couldn’t serve as the inspiration for respectable art.

The monument, which was created by 34-year-old William Douglas in 57 hours and unveiled on August 27 during the Birmingham Weekender arts event in the UK’s West Midlands, was unveiled. Douglas, a local artist who works full-time, received financial support from the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust to construct a piece of art that would be on show for the length of the two-day event.

Douglas told Insider that he was “obsessed” with the viral meme when it first appeared and that since the guys in the meme were from Birmingham and the neighbouring city of Coventry, he believed it would be appropriate to create his artwork as a respect to them and to the local community.

The meme first appeared in 2020, and as a consequence, the four guys experienced internet harassment.

The “Four Lads in Jeans” meme’s source was an Instagram post made in June 2019 by a user by the name of Connor Jordan Humpage. The caption said, “Tight trousers selected us,” and picture featured Humpage and three of his mates, Kevin Rooney, Alex Lacey, and Jamie Phillips, standing outside of a pub.

The picture was then screenshotted and shared to an unidentified Facebook meme page, according to the website Know Your Meme. This post was not found by Insider.

The picture was circulated often on social media during the year 2020, with many commenters finding it amusing since they felt the guys resembled traditional British “lads.” Users would often tweet the picture along with a phrase that they imagined a British “lad” would say, such as a defence of Winston Churchill or a remark about British boxers.

The photo became so popular that the guys in it said they and their family members had endured constant mocking online in an appearance with TV programme Good Morning Britain in January 2021.

A fresh surge of interest in the guys has arisen as a result of the unveiling of Douglas’ statue, which was created by stacking paper mâché on top of fashion mannequins. The men were once again highlighted on Good Morning Britain when they visited the artwork.

“We’re thrilled to have a statue of our own in Birmingham. It’s an amazing journey from a night out to being preserved in paper mâché. We are grateful “In a statement to Insider, the guys wrote.

The statue’s creator acknowledged that his work has also been mocked online.

When his monument was exhibited during the event, Douglas told Insider he was happy with it. However, he said that when he and major British news agencies uploaded pictures of his artwork online, there was disagreement from commentators.

Others critiqued the monument’s look, while others indicated that the completed piece was not worth the funding Douglas got.

“I’m hoping it wasn’t expensive. The news site BirminghamLive posted a photo of the monument on Facebook, and one remark, with 44 likes, wrote, “I would ask for a refund if it did. Other comments under the same post read, “What a waste of money it looks ugly,” “What an eyesore, the ugliest piece of rubbish I have ever seen!!”

Douglas told Insider that he was discouraged by some of these remarks because he believed they showed that many people did not appreciate the significance of drawing inspiration from a meme for a work of art.

Douglas disagrees, claiming that memes may really serve as inspiration for art and that the meme-forming visuals can even stand alone as pieces of art.

“Memes and art have a connection to one another. Similar to how individuals might engage in discussion while seeing art, playing with photographs and sharing them sparks a dialogue “He spoke to Insider.

Douglas said he intended to make art that would be approachable and identifiable to anybody who has seen the meme by utilising a well-known meme to build a statue.

“I reasoned that turning something based on an online joke into a work of art would result in something that people could readily share. I wanted to produce something more approachable by introducing it to the people on the street rather than keeping it in a gallery or show “says he.

Some people have told me that their three-year-old granddaughter could have produced the piece better, but he said, “I’m delighted it’s accomplishing what I intended it to do by provoking thought and discourse, which is the ultimate goal of art.

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