LOL Masterpiece: Fine Art For The Meme-Age

It's a lofty concept to grapple with, but imagine if our ancestors had the Internet at their disposal while exploring the once-wild American frontier. That's what artist Shawn Huckins wondered, and instead of blogging about it, he put brush to canvas.
The American __tier rather brilliantly parodies the way we communicate by juxtaposing "Internet speak" with old Americana paintings. "The physical act of typing very fast on small devices has undeniably impacted spelling, grammar, and punctuation, encouraging a degree of illiteracy that has become the new social norm," Huckins says. "These additions do not signify the death of the English language, but rather as a growing and evolving method of communication which changes as does our world," he continues.
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Visually, the portfolio is fantastic. It's current and approachable. Like the Doge meme, the painted phrases make sense with what's underneath. They're also vague enough to distance themselves as separate entities, like a status update or a tweet, bits of unrelated phrases that, when put together, shape and mold the zeitgeist. If anything, Huckins has taken the virality of what could've been done in Photoshop, and complicated it by physically painting the meme-like works.
We've only got one thing to say: #luvit.
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Abe: Hashtag Huh
2013
acrylic on canvas
50 x 36 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
James Beard: The Fuck?
2013
acrylic on canvas
16 x 12 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
James Beard: The Fuck?, detail
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
The Writing Master: Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud
2013
acrylic on canvas
33 x 36 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Gentleman Wearing A Top Hat and Eye Patch: Like Sometimes I Be Just Drinking Alone
2013
acrylic on canvas
44 x 34 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Smith’s Mother: Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off
2013
acrylic on canvas
28 x 24 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Fur Traders Descending The Missouri: Oh My God What The Hell! You Never Did That, Like That’s Like Fucking Crazy! If I Did That I’d Be Like Wow
2013
acrylic on canvas
33 x 40 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Cornelius C. Kenney: Here Like
2013
acrylic on canvas with patina varnish
16 x 12 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
The Jolly Flatboatmen: Twerking Like A Boss
2013
acrylic on canvas
40 x 52 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
A Concealed Enemy: I’m A Failure As A Man Apparently. I’m More Turned On By A Library Of Zombie Movies Than Whatever The Fuck A ‘Squat Thrust’ Is
2013
acrylic on canvas
34 x 42 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Euphemia White Van Rensselaer: Don’t You Realize That I Only Text You When I’m Drunk
2013
acrylic on canvas
40 x 32 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Boatmen On The Missouri: Will Twerk For Food
2013
acrylic on canvas
28 x 30 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Boatmen On The Missouri: Will Twerk For Food, detail
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
A Mississippi Boatman: To Dante - Ride Me, Bite Me, And Slap Me With Your Sweet Love. No Seriously
2013
acrylic on canvas
40 x 30 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Colonel Julius A. Andrews’ Extended What
2013
acrylic on canvas
42 x 34 in
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Photo: Courtesy of Shawn Huckins.
Ulysses S. Grant: Hashtag Um
2013
acrylic on canvas
30 x 28 in
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