The Nicolas Cage Aesthetic: An American Event

Carly Salzberg | April 14, 2014 | Story Galleries and Performance

Mapped Cage
Artistic Value: 8.5/10 This portrait of Cage gets a stellar rating of 9/10 for it's creative austere. The illustration rigorously portrays a striking representation of Herbert “Hi” McDunnough's character in the Coen Brothers cult comedy, “Raising Arizona.” The way the lines of the map intersect the lines of the subject provides an idiosyncratic portrayal of this Cage character with an acute attention to detail. Surprisingly, it just so happens that Arizona contour lines make for a fabulous representation of Cage’s wild man chest hair.
Cage Value: 6/10 Despite the Artist's interesting canvas choice, it falls a little lower on the Cage scale. The portrait provides an iconic conceptualization of Cage that may or may not have been copied from what is speculated as the most popular picture of the character on google images. Therefore the image seems a little too static to artfully present the spirit of Cage with a respect to the fullness of his personality.
Crowd Reaction: “His eyes are captivating but he looks sorta fat.” —Annabelle

Hulk Cage
Artistic Value: 7/10 Hulk looks great on Cage and the sloppy technical ability of the Artist gives this piece a 7/10 because nobody expects Nicolas Cage drawn in Hulk fashion to be perfect and seamless. There is a passionate undulation to where the eye is drawn to this piece and viewers are tempted to chant the words, “Rage, Cage” as they meditate on the mania that is yearning to be released from this tormented villainous hero.
Cage Value: 9/10 This portrait beautifully captures the absolute intensity of the raw Cage and his fierce, enigmatic self. In an effort for the human mind to commit to a static portrayal of this transformative actor / psycho, the artist’s struggle is most notable by the choice to position the Cage persona as the fictional superhero, the Incredible Hulk.
Crowd Reaction: Viewers giggled joyously as they associated their favorite actor with the socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist who physically transforms into the Hulk under emotional stress.

Superman Cage
Artistic Value: 8/10 The shadows cast on this Cage portrait as Superman treads the suspense of this very heroic and America man-child actor. For millions of nerdy hipsters everywhere, Nicolas Cage is undoubtedly their American hero and this representation is skillfully illustrated to illicit the paradoxical and confusing nature of a man who is at once a buttressing God-like figure and a flamboyant mad man. One look into his red eyes, and the viewer is hypnotised into artistic submission.
Cage Value: 10/10 This Cage art is incredibly and mindblowingly amusing and for that it receives a perfect score on the Cage scale.
Crowd Reaction: Tyler Null, drummer of the band, “For the Ladies” who attended the event dressed in his fruitiest Hawaiian shirt and beer-stained wife-beater, carrying a plastic baby doll in his arms as a personifying homage to Cage’s McDunnough character, had this to say about the painting, “I vote for superman because he was almost cast as superman and I find that very funny.”

Trippy Cage
Artistic Value: 9/10 Nicolas Cage is a colorful man and this piece most literally captures that visual appeal of his personhood. The trippy graphics envelope a peeping subject of Cage with three eye balls. For many passersbys this portrait was overwhelmingly weird.
Cage Value: 8/10 The Cage value of this portrait scores a solid 8/10 for its playful and original aesthetic. Clearly the artist had to trip some serious balls to conjure up this fantastic conceptualization of the Cage man. The portrait seems to really capture the futuristic psychedelic imagination of Nicolas Cage with an absurdist approach. Had it been a little more weird, it might have stole the show.
Crowd Reaction: A group of young college girls from Berkeley shrieked at the sight of this image while gasping the word “creepy” like revolving carousel in their minds and for that reason it receives a score of 9/10 for its reactionary effect.

St. Nicolas of Cage
Artistic Rating: 9/10 This patterning of Nicolas Cage as a saint and a potential future Bishop of the Catholic church is both brilliant and riveting. For many fans, Nicolas Cage is a spiritual leader and this portrait really drives that radical interpretation home. The symbolic image of Cage’s crosier, coupled with his royal red vestment and flower power clasp presents a perplexing layering and because of that it receives a 9/10 for its challenging digestibility.
Cage Rating: 10/10 A symbolically moving portrayal of an imagined Saint Nicolas of Cage positions this fantastic piece as the pedestal of portraits and it receives a glowing 10/10 on the Cage scale. Most importantly, like Cage, this image is not for the faint of heart and it's highly offensive yet comical nature vomits a sublime rating! Words scorn the majesty of this portrait and so it must be consumed visually without blinking.
Crowd Reaction: “I bow to the St. Nicolas of Cage” - Anonymous nerd.


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