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Why David is washing his dirty laundry in public

8 October 2018

Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories

No work of art has suffered quite so many indignities as Michelangelo’s David. But a new advertising campaign created on behalf of electronics and white goods conglomerate Samsung may just feature the most ‘creative’ profanation of the sculpture to date.

Entitled ‘modern masterpieces’, the campaign reimagines David atop a washing machine as a ‘domestic god’, disguising his modesty in a pair of pants and depicting him doing the weekly wash. Rodin’s The Thinker has been given similar treatment: he is now seen staring intently into the drum of his own home appliance.

In a spin: The Thinker at home.

In a spin: The Thinker at home. Joe Pepler/PinPep

Facsimiles based on the redesigns have been placed at various locations around London for two weeks. According to a statement from Samsung, the new look masterpieces are ‘open to interpretation’. As the company explains:

‘Just as the original Thinker invites us to debate as to whether he is in either a contemplative or mourning pose, Samsung’s modernized male subject could be interpreted as being in a state of confusion, as he ponders which wash cycle to select’. One suspects Michelangelo and Rodin might have put it in rather stronger terms…

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