Missed my chance to own this masterpiece. How do I find it again?
December 7, 2017 9:16 PM   Subscribe

Ages ago, my husband and I saw this work of art at a thrift store, but we were young and foolish and did not snap it up. When we came to our senses and returned to the same thrift store a few weeks later, we realized we were too late — some sage connoisseur had recognized the masterpiece for what it was and acquired it for their own collection. More’s the pity. Can I ever find it again — or at least learn what it was?

Googling various permutations of “dead rat bathrobe toilet finish line guy” has...well, not exactly disappointed me, but it has not brought me any closer to identifying the picture, the artist, or the precise nature of what appears to be a “rat race”-related pun, nor where I might obtain a print of it for a reasonable price.

At first glance, I thought the subject (the human one) was supposed to be Mitt Romney, but after years of thoughtful contemplation it seems the hairstyle is all wrong.

If possible, I would like to find this masterpiece once again, purchase it (if I can afford it), and possibly hang it in my office, so that all who gaze upon it may know I am a dignified professional who appreciates the finer things.

Failing that, I would like to learn as much as I can about this unparalleled work of highbrow art, the better to appreciate its skilled composition and nuanced message.
posted by armeowda to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It looks like it's a photo of a sculptural work, like a low relief. Not that this adds any helpful information. I wonder if it was part of a series or if it was a one-off done by an amateur artist. I mean it's technically accomplished to a point, but also kind of awkwardly composed. And I feel like I'm missing the punchline. Maybe it's foreign and illustrating some common saying. Sorry, only wild speculation here.
posted by picea at 6:13 AM on December 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is it a painting or a claymation still?
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:18 AM on December 8, 2017 [1 favorite]

If I were your husband, I would commission an artist from etsy to create a copy for you, and give it to you as a Valentine's Day surprise. Maybe I'd have the artist insert a little image of you in the mirror behind the subject too, because it'd be a wink to the Velasquez self portrait in Las Meninas and what would be more highbrow than to have your portrait be part of this great work? Nothing, that's what.

Feel free to leave this suggestion onscreen where your husband will see it. HEY GUY PAY ATTENTION.
posted by fingersandtoes at 6:18 AM on December 8, 2017 [12 favorites]

That looks like polymer clay and that would not be very hard to make yourself. I have worked with it and taught how to use it (Fimo, Sculpy, Kato Polyclay, etc.) and it is simple to use, and you bake the final product in the oven. Smells for a bit, but honestly, an amateur could reproduce that, or create something along those lines.
posted by Alexandra Kitty at 4:36 PM on December 8, 2017

So far I’m just relieved this isn’t some obvious reference to yet another piece of ubiquitous pop culture I haven’t gotten around to knowing about yet.

Loving the input so far! Staying tuned in case the original artist is out there, mustering the courage to chime in...
posted by armeowda at 10:00 PM on December 8, 2017

I have no advice, but I share your pain.
Here is my Art That Got Away: Dog who loves you
posted by mon-ma-tron at 8:40 PM on December 9, 2017 [1 favorite]

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