This Weekend's Nicolas Cage Paintings, Ranked

Carly Salzberg | April 15, 2014 | Story Galleries and Performance

On Saturday night, thousand of fans of actor Nicolas Cage descended on a Mission District art gallery to view "Nicolas Cage is God," a showing of works of art inspired by his film work. We sent our very best Nic Cage-themed art critic to report back on the aesthetic value of the pieces. Here's what she found:

Superman Cage
Artistic Value: 8/10. The shadows cast on this Cage portrait as Superman treads the suspense of this heroic and America man-child. This representation skillfully illustrates the illicit, paradoxical, and confusing nature of a man who is at once a God-like figure and yet flamboyantly Man. One look into his red eyes, and the viewer is hypnotized into submission.
Cage Value: 10/10. Incredibly and mind-blowingly amusing. Perfect score on the Cage scale.
Crowd Reaction: Tyler Null, a drummer who attended the event dressed in a fruit-filled Hawaiian shirt and beer-stained wife-beater, carrying a plastic baby doll in his arms (you know, like in Raising Arizona?), had this to say about the painting, “I vote for Superman because he was almost cast as Superman. I find that very funny.”

Mapped Cage
Artistic Value: 8.5/10. The illustration portrays Herbert “Hi” McDunnough in the Coen brothers' Raising Arizona. The lines of the map intersect with those of the subject, providing an idiosyncratic portrayal of this Cage character with an acute attention to detail. It just so happens that Arizona fabulously represents Cage’s wild man chest hair.
Cage Value: 6/10. The portrait conceptualizes a Cage that may have been copied from the most popular picture of him on Google Images. Perhaps it's a little static to present the spirit of Cage or the fullness of his personality.
Crowd Reaction: "His eyes are captivating but he looks sorta fat," said attendee Annabelle.

Hulk Cage
Artistic Value: 7/10. Hulk looks great on Cage, though nobody expects Nicolas Cage drawn in a Hulk fashion to be seamless. There is a passionate undulation where the eye is drawn to this piece. The viewer is tempted to chant, “Rage, Cage. Rage, Cage” as he or she meditates on the mania that is yearning to be released.
Cage Value: 9/10. This portrait captures the intensity of the raw Cage. In an effort for the human mind to commit to a static portrayal of this transformative actor, the artist’s struggle is notable in Cage's persona as the fictional superhero.
Crowd Reaction: Viewers giggled joyously as they associated their favorite actor with the socially withdrawn and emotionally reserved physicist who transforms into the Hulk under emotional stress.

Trippy Cage
Artistic Value: 9/10. Nicolas Cage is a colorful man—and this piece captures his visual appeal. The trippy graphics envelope a peeping subject of Cage with three eye balls. For many passers-by this portrait was overwhelmingly weird.
Cage Value: 8/10. A playful and original aesthetic. Clearly, the artist had to trip serious balls to conjure up this fantastic conceptualization of Cage. The portrait captures the futuristic, psychedelic imagination of Nicolas Cage with an absurdist approach. Had it been a little weirder, it might have stolen the show.
Crowd Reaction: A group of young college girls from Berkeley shrieked at the sight of this image while gasping the word “creepy.”

St. Nicolas of Cage
Artistic Rating: 9/10. This patterning of Nicolas Cage as a saint and a Catholic Bishop is both brilliant and riveting. For many fans, Nicolas Cage is a spiritual leader—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 is presents a perplexing layering.
Cage Rating: 10/10. A symbolically-moving portrayal of an imagined Saint Nicolas of Cage positions this fantastic piece as the pedestal of portraits. Most importantly, like Cage, this image is not for the faint of heart and its highly offensive, yet comical nature vomits sublimity! Words scorn the majesty of this portrait. It must be consumed visually without blinking.
Crowd Reaction: "I bow to the St. Nicolas of Cage" —Anonymous nerd

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