While I always have had a soft-spot for R. Mutt’s 1917 work Fountain (which most people pretty much attribute to my favourite artist Marcel Duchamp), and I laugh whenever I see Man Ray’s classic iron-with-nails (a.k.a. Cadeau, 1921) — yes, I love my Dada — I’m going to go out on a limb here and pitch this baby as the best piece of art ever produced: world-famous sculptor Pierre Picolino’s Twilight Over Hoboken (1964).
Good question, but one I’ll endeavour to tackle here in a few short words, so you don’t get too bored with this faux art history lecture.
Picolini was a collaborative invention of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for a lighthearted segment in Fantastic Four #22 (Jan. 1964) at Marvel.
An irate little man whose new sculpture, his “greatest masterpiece” (see picture), was recently melted into slag after a fly-by courtesy of the Human Torch, he brings his lawyer to the Baxter Building in an attempt to sue the Fantastic Four for a fortune — until he’s scared off by ghosts. No kidding.
So let’s call Twilight Over Hoboken in its final state — unseen here since it would be more appropriate in a BBQ or lining the fireplace — collaborative art of the highest sort, on the eve of the ’60s pop art explosion… bringing together people both real (Lee, Kirby, and George Roussos doing inks) and fictitious (Picolini & Johnny Storm).