I suppose I qualify as a full-time art geek when I can play the video game “Grand Theft Auto V” and I ignore the mission in order to check out the art. To be honest, I haven’t played the game much in order to accurately describe where I was (but was told this is “Michael’s house”), but in this one particular house I decided to walk around and check out the paintings on the walls.
Most of the paintings in this house were generic landscapes, but in this spot there was an unusual painting that stood out – this one below right. Scroll down for my take on this …
My first thought was that it had a Mexican vibe, maybe something inspired by Diego Rivera – a detail from his painting “Sugar Cane” is below left. But the women also reminded me vaguely of Gauguin’s paintings, two samples of which are also shown below center and right. I don’t know, maybe I’m reaching here, but the painting above right is definitely quite different from every other painting in the house.
One of the rooms contains a Warhol imitation … you can see this pink and gold portrait on the wall has a very similar style to Andy Warhol’s portrait of Liza Minelli, as seen in the inset, bottom right.
But when I say in the post title that “Rockstar Games probably didn’t expect us to catch this,” what I’m referring to is the duplicate paintings hanging in different locations in the same house. I’m sure Rockstar, the company behind Grand Theft Auto, isn’t expecting the kids playing this game to pay much attention to the art, so rather than bother making every single painting different, why not just re-use a couple of them?
The first one I noticed was this portrait of a woman. As you can see below, she’s in one room, hanging between two sconces and over a side table with ceramic urns and a vase of flowers. But the exact same painting is also in another room, again between the same two sconces, but this time hanging over a white sofa. It’s hard to forget a large portrait like that, especially when you see it twice.
Next we’ve got a pair of landscape paintings – look at the left and right paintings of this trio in the bedroom – the one on the left shows some pine trees and a big boulder; the one on the far right shows a grouping of 5 tall trees. But when you come out of the bedroom and go downstairs, why there’s the pine trees and boulder on the right and the 5 tall trees on the left – bingo!
Oh well, I’m sure almost no one playing the game really cares … it doesn’t bother me either, but I found it kind of amusing to discover. Rockstar, if you’re paying attention, I would be happy to offer my services for future games to create virtual art and guarantee that you don’t have any duplicates! Give me a call!