Lil Nas X’s “I Will Avenge U Mr Van Gogh” Meme Goes Viral

From Lil Nas X’s Instagram feed (all screenshots Rhea Nayyar/Hyperallergic)

On Tuesday evening, Lil Nas X posted an iconic diptych of himself “throwing” a photoshopped van Gogh “Sunflowers” painting at an Andy Warhol soup can work, along with the caption “i will avenge u mr van gogh” in response to Just Stop Oil’s tomato soup demonstration at London’s National Gallery. While he isn’t the only one to jump on the tomato soup meme bandwagon, Lil Nas X is famous for his witty social media responses toward pop culture news and current events.

Though the rapper didn’t post his location, he was most likely at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), where one of Warhol’s works is currently on display. He “soft-launched” his meme by tweeting a jokingly sinister photo of him standing in front of Pablo Picasso’s “Figure” (1930), with his fingers gripping the bottom of a photoshopped Campbell’s tomato soup can. (The museum has not responded to a request for comment.)

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Seems like it was a good day for Lil Nas X to see some art and make a million people laugh.

Soon afterwards, the diptych of Lil Nas X miming an attack on one of Andy Warhol’s standalone tomato soup can paintings was posted to his Instagram and Twitter and as usual, his fans ate it up. The rapper’s social media accounts are made up of hundreds of timely memes ranging from ironic, low-quality iPhone photos to high-brow professional shoots all centered around world news or brushing aside the haters.

His Instagram and Twitter followers are clearly having a riot, coming up with one-liners that rival the hilarity of the rapper’s post.

And since we’re already here, here’s an AI interpretation of Lil Nas X defending van Gogh from a can of Campbell’s tomato soup, courtesy Midjourney. Sometimes, we just need to fully realize what our mind’s eye is capable of seeing.

An AI output for the prompt “detailed impasto painting of Lil Nas X defending Vincent Van Gogh from an Andy Warhol-style Campbell’s tomato soup can” (Rhea Nayyar/Hyperallergic via Midjourney)


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