About The EuroDisney Triptych

Diagram showing dimensions
of "The EuroDisney Triptych" by Ernest Ruckle
Diagram showing dimensions of The EuroDisney Triptych
in cm/in
iiii

The EuroDisney Triptych was completed in January 1998 and first exhibited at the Louis K. Meisel Gallery in New York 4 December 1999 to 15 January 2000. It was painted on Strathmore illustration board, using ink and a mixture of Winsor and Newton watercolors and Liquitex acrylic medium, which also serves as the final varnish.

     

The painting is an elaborate comment on the juggernaut of American popular culture that's homogenizing the world. The EuroDisney theme park (so close to Paris, the last citadel of European civilization) is the perfect symbol for this phenomenon. The painting shows the park being destroyed by a huge crowd of violent demonstrators.

 
Detail from left side of left panel
Detail from left side of left panel
     
Detail from right side of left panel
Detail from right side of left panel
 

The structure of the painting is like that of a comic strip, moving chronologically from left to right, the action becoming more and more violent. The style reflects this change and turns gradually from a 1930s newspaper-cartoon style on the left to a more realistic style in the center to an expressionist-cubist style on the right.

     

The demonstrators bring with them signs, floats, and giant balloons that grotesquely parody the Disney images. Ultimately, the demonstrators prove themselves more imaginative and relevant than the designers of the park.

The theme of the painting is not an attack on Disney. (The Artist has said that between 1926 and 1941 Walt Disney was one of the world's most creative people.) Instead, it's a challenge to Europe and the rest of the world, not to put up barriers to keep out American popular culture, but to create and update their own.

 
Detail from center panel
Detail from center panel
     
Another detail from center panel
Another detail from center panel
 

The Artist has said: "The element of a painting into which I put the most thought is its structure. This is a term that shouldn't be confused with composition or unity. Some critics have said that structure is no longer important in a work of art because we live in an unstructured age. But the world has always been unstructured, and it has always been the artist's role to try to impose structure upon it. I challenge myself with the most difficult structural problems I can devise. I like the tensions resulting from my attempts to organize the disparate elements and make them contribute to the effect of the whole."

     

While he was working on this web project, it occurred to the Artist that the technology he was using could be used to make a giant version of his triptych and that people might respond to the larger image in an entirely different way. A properly-made enlargement could be even more impressive and powerful than the original. A 28-foot long enlargement of the triptych was shown at his 1999-2000 New York show. Click here for a picture.

 
Detail from center of right panel
Detail from center of right panel
     
Detail from right side of right panel
Detail from right side of right panel
 

The EuroDisney Triptych is copyright © 1998 by Ernest Ruckle. Although it uses Disney characters, the Artist feels that its artistic value and imaginative and structural content overcome any question of copyright violation. Legal challenges should be directed to the Artist c/o the Louis K. Meisel Gallery, 141 Prince Street, New York 10012. No commercial use of any kind may be made of these images without written permission from the Artist.

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