Dave & Mona


The two most iconic images of Western art are Michelangelo’s sculpture David (1501–4) and Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Mona Lisa (1503-6). These masterpieces of Renaissance art have become the most recognizable sculpture and painting in the world. David is the most important uncircumcised Jew in history. While Duchamp defaced a cheap reproduction with “L.H.O.O.Q.,” which, when read out loud on French sounds like “Elle a chaud a cul” (“she has a hot ass”).

In my travels, I always keep an eye out for their appearance. They are omnipresent: bank advertisements, pizza parlors, drinking mugs, aprons, slathered with gold paint, dressed in a lava lava, rendered in blue neon in a gay club, turned into a cat, wearing a Batman hat, not to mention the ubiquitous T-shirts and statuettes. Because of both their cavalier treatment and their familiarity, I’ve come to call them “Dave” and “Mona.” Here are a hundred of so of my favorites . . . enjoy.