This week, Kellyanne Conway simultaneously took a seat on a couch in the Oval Office and took the internet by storm. Though it transpired she was actually angling to get a photo of President Donald Trump, the press images captured of Conway, her legs tucked underneath her as if she were at a sleepover as a dozen leaders of historically black colleges stood at attention (along with the President), left many wondering what on earth could be going through the White House counselor’s head.
Not satisfied by the photo-op excuse, the internet took the opportunity to create their own perfect tableaux, transporting Conway’s now canonic sitting to the canvases of Leonardo da Vinci and Andrew Wyeth. Thanks to meme-makers like Tim O’Brien, who has quite the past with photoshopping Conway’s activities, from her apparently offensive inaugural outfit to her espousing of “alternative facts,” Conway has found herself atop the dinner table in da Vinci’s The Last Supper and in the green pastures of Maine in Wyeth’s Christina’s World. Here are all the Kellyanne art memes, explained.
Georges Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, which the French pointillist finally finished up back in 1884, is actually a collection of hundreds and hundreds of painstakingly placed dots. The exception here, of course, is Conway, who occupies a dry patch on the ground in front of the Seine, standing out just as much from the picnickers as her suited male companions in the Oval Office.
The woman splayed in a field in a pale pink dress and stretching longingly toward the house up the hill in Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World was originally a polio-crippled woman Wyeth spied crawling in his native Maine. The artist described his subject as “limited physically but by no means spiritually.” Her replacement, Conway, does not possess such soul—nor awareness of what lies around her, including her duties at the White House, though it looms just up the way.
Over 500 years ago, Leonardo da Vinci painted The Last Supper, paying extra attention to the shadowy treachery he depicted upon Judas’s face. Though his actions may have been a touch more severe, Conway does really have a way with disrespect.
In 2010, the performance artist Marina Abramovic spent a total of 750 hours sitting opposite any visitor who’d like to have a face-off in the halls of MoMA, where Abramovic’s career-spanning retrospective was then underway. Her sit-in moved many to tears, including Abramovic herself, especially when her ex-partner, the artist Ulay, dropped by. Here, Conway appears as unfazed by Abramovic’s stoicism as she is by facts.
Conway’s taste for the American revolution may actually mean she’d be pleased with this look: perched atop the packed boat crossing the Delaware River with George Washington, on his way to lead a surprise attack in the Battle of Trenton against the British, in this 1851 painting by Emanuel Leutze. Alas, if only she were only as present as Marina to take it all in—Conway stays glued to her phone, blissfully unaware of how close she and her comrades are to toppling over and failing their fellow Americans.
See Kendall Jenner, Performance Artist, Channel Icons Like Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono: