Yesterday afternoon, Kim Kardashian West took to Twitter to casually share the details of her very extra 40th birthday celebration. “After 2 weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time,” she posted, along with photos of entirely non-masked, très Island Chic-clad guests crowded in a tiki hut.
The tweet immediately drew ire and ridicule for its privileged tone amid a global health crisis in which most people cannot simply “pretend things are normal just for a brief moment,” much less decamp to a luxury private island.
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One of the cheekiest responses so far has come from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, which playfully tweeted an image of Henri Matisse’s famous painting “Dance (I)” (1909) in its collection along with Kardashian’s caption. The juxtaposition of the socialite’s vapid words and the Fauvist canvas depicting five nude women dancing in a circle without a care in the world had the perfect amount of sass, and it quickly went viral.
Better yet, it has birthed a brand-new art meme. In the comments to MoMA’s tweet, art lovers are reposting their favorite works of group gatherings — from Seurat’s “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” to, hilariously, Leonardo’s “Last Supper” — in deliciously bitter mockery of the bucolic folly and delusional escapism that, I think we can all agree, is completely unwarranted at this moment in time.
(However, the irony of the majority-white and obscenely wealthy art world throwing shade at a rich Kardashian was not lost on some. “Is this the episode when MOMA voted all their contract educators off the island?” asked one Twitter user, referencing the museum’s notorious mass layoffs of freelance educators at the onset of the pandemic.)
We’ve rounded up some of the most amusing iterations of the Kardashian art meme below, but check them all out on the original MoMA Twitter thread, here.