The Big Lebowski Meets The Old Masters In The Work Of Joe Forkan

Joe Forkan‘s “The Lebowski Cycle” series of paintings opened last Saturday at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, and the exhibition will run until October 28th. The Lebowski Cycle frames scenes from the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski (1998) in the context of various masterpieces from art history, particularly the Baroque works which were of interest to Forkan due to their compression of grand story arcs and many varied internal complexities into a single image. Forkan says he’s been working on these paintings since 2006, starting with 12 paintings, and now has at least 14 in progress. Each one measures at least 72″ by 40″ and proud we are of all of them.

On the next pages we have thirteen of the paintings along with the classic works they were based upon, as well as a link to the section at Forkan’s blog where he explains his process for each one. I think I might like these as much as those Old Masters’ paintings with a fat ginger cat added to them. Don’t agree? Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.

The Death of Marat (After David) • Joe Forkan 2008, oil on linen, 96″ x 58″

Death of Marat by Jacques-Louis David 1793

Forkan wrote about this painting of Uli floating in the pool here and here.


The Taking of Christ (After Caravaggio) • Joe Forkan 2009, oil on linen, 72″ x 40″

The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio 1602

Forkan wrote about this painting here.


Ecce Homo (After Guercino) • Joe Forkan 2009, oil on linen, 72″ x 40″

Ecce Homo by Il Guercino 1647

Forkan wrote about this painting here.

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