Painter Spreads Internet Memes in Oil

Courtesy of Jeremiah Palecek
Jeremiah Palecek

In "Grape Stomping Lady Falls on Her Face," Jeremiah Palecek captures a famed YouTube clip. Courtesy of Jeremiah Palecek/ hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Jeremiah Palecek/

The Dramatic Prairie Dog, the Grape-Stomping Lady, Diet Coke and Mentos: For those not yet in the know, these are all short videos made famous on the Web — and all are now splashed on canvas thanks to Prague-based artist Jeremiah Palecek.

Palecek began an artist's affair with popular culture when he was 16 and made his first paintings from the Ricki Lake Show. His reasoning was simple: "I thought these images were worthy of a painting."

With some additional art training, Palecek was ready to tackle a more urgent medium, the Internet — and in particular its most basic, hilarious, bizarre and ubiquitous artifacts, viral videos.

"Most of these are very easy to replicate," he says. "Everybody has an experience watching a funny video, just like they know that kidney thief story."

Will he paint from the video that depicts a Marine throwing a puppy off a cliff?

"There's a place for all these types of videos," Palecek says. He says his paintings are an effort to make little time capsules of a certain time, no matter what the subject. "I'm sure when I paint the puppy," he says, "people will ask, 'Does he like killing puppies?' But I think they all deserve attention."

Palecek posted a video on his Web site asking people to tell him what to paint next. His last user-directed painting featured Flavor Flav, a prehistoric bird, a 1981 Honda and a DeLorean. He displays (and sells) his work online at

On our blog: a slideshow of Palacek's work.



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