A painting by Glen Tarnowski refitting Da Vinci’s Last Supper to include Bugs Bunny, the Grinch, and other toons has offended some passers-by in Old Town, San Diego.. The painting is hanging in the front window of the Chuck Jones Gallery, and provoked a mixed reaction from the locals:

“We never intended to offend anyone,” said Mike Dicken, national sales director for the gallery at 2501 San Diego Ave. “Most people think it’s fun and amusing, but 5 percent are pulling their hair out.”

Left unsaid is whether the hair-tearing is due to offense at the sacrilegious nature of the painting, or because the colorful, surreal characters remind San Diegans that Comic-Con is just a few months away and grown humans dressed as these characters will soon be shopping at Ralphs.

Link via Cartoon Brew


  1. The purists would take offense at The Grinch being included.

    From what I can surmise… Elmer Fudd is Judas Iscariot. The Grinch is Peter, Marvin is Thomas, Daffy is James the Greater, Marc Anthony is Philip, Pepe is Matthew, Gossamer is Jude Thaddeus, Porky is Simon, the Road Runner is John, Wile E. Coyote is James, Junyer (Baby) Bear is James the Lesser, and Henry Hawk is Bartholomew. And Bugs, reminiscent of his role in “Duck Amuck”, is Jesus.

    This is nothing new for Chuck Jones (or his gallery) as he reinterpreted many classics using Warner Brothers characters (“Nude Duck Descending a Staircase”). More offensive would be Bugs Bunny on a crucifix. (Although DC used something similar to great effect in “Batman: Holy Terror”.)

    Of course, there’s that whole business of Exodus 20:4… “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”

    Me… I’ve already paved my acre of Hell with good intentions, and am working on the parking garage.

  2. I was about to say “Are they offended that the Grinch is included in a painting of WB characters?”

  3. I’m glad crime, poverty, illness, and all other problems have been wiped out in San Diego, so all people have to do is complain about crap like this. Sounds like they’ve created a veritable utopia down there.

  4. Personally I’m not offended, but yeah, I think it’s in questionable taste. I don’t read where any of the passers-by are actually protesting or freaking out to any degree. They just don’t like it.

  5. While I leave every person’s judgment to themselves, as a Christian, I believe God has a sense of humor too. Besides, a rendering of this event does not change the event at all. On another note, to the artist’s credit, he did leave Taz out…him being a devil and all!

  6. I find the display not particularly funny or courageous in a world where nearly all of the media outlets refused to publish the Danish Mohammed cartoons.

  7. Well, yes, of course fuck ’em if they can’t joke.

    But… I mean… AND… what’s funny about this to me is that the people claiming sacrilege are committing it themselves. Leonardo’s Last Supper is not in the Bible. It’s a painting one guy made. And, in fact, it’s a painting made by a guy who was also accused of sacrilege. So, for these yahoos to insist that a non-canonical painting by a religious skeptic deserves religious revery just points out how ignorant and self-contradictory they are. Which is redundant, I know. Just sayin’.

  8. On one hand, as a Christian, initially, I think it caused a reaction, based on what the original painting is supposed to represent. BUT realistically, I mean, it was a painting by some Italian dude, many centuries after the fact and it doesn’t even accurately represent what supposedly happened, so…

    plus, there have been so many takes on the painting, that if this is the one that gets to people, they’ve had their blinders on too long.

  9. I was sent a link to this thread yesterday. My name is Craig Kausen and I am Chuck Jones’ grandson. I operate the gallery that is presenting ‘The Gathering’ by Tarnowski.

    I hope that everyone who has posted or followed this thread will read this entire post (long as it is.)

    I have read many blog posts and have spoken with many people about their feelings about the painting. First of all, I applaud everyone who has stated their feelings and thoughts about it and their interpretations of the motivation and meaning.

    I can understand from just looking at the painting it might be perceived as irreverent or mocking of an historical depiction by Da Vinci portraying an important moment in the Christian faith. However, just like any work of art, it is important to look beyond the surface and find out what the motivation of the artist was when it was created.

    First of all, Glen Tarnowski is one of the most devout Christian men I have ever had the honor of knowing. His entire purpose for creating his artwork is to raise the human spirit and to inspire the human heart.

    When I spoke with him about the painting, he explained that he imagined what if we were all living in world where we were all cartoon characters. He said that God’s love for us is so strong that no matter what we are God would want to gather us to Him, thus the name of the painting ‘The Gathering’. He also said that many of us sometimes lose sight of the meaning behind a symbol like a painting and that it is perfect opportunity to revisit the deeper meaning behind these wonderful symbols.

    My observation of this man is that his Faith is so strong and so pure, that the respect he has for Da Vinci and even more so for his Christian Faith, there is absolutely no irreverence in this painting. Rather, there is passion for and love of God and Faith instilled in it from Glen.

    As for the timing of the painting, it was created months ago and it was displayed weeks ago. I believe the timing of the coverage and reaction is based upon those that have seen it in recent weeks in San Diego.

    By chance, I did speak with a Catholic Priest down the street from the gallery when the reactions started to arise. I told him about the artist, about the painting, and asked for his thoughts. He said he thought it sounded wonderful. Although he said it was a bit far to go take a look right then (being in his 80s), he promised he would stop by to see it in person. I will follow up with him soon.

    I am glad to hear (as I have already) any and all opinions and speak with anyone who would be interested.

    You can email me at [email protected] if you’d like to contact me.

    With respect,
    Craig Kausen

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