Edgar Degas's sculpture Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen is one of the most famous works at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. And because nothing pure can last in our fallen world, that means it's also ripe for cross-promotions: a Little Dancer industrial complex, if you will.
First there was the children's book Degas and the Little Dancer. Then the pink, girly Little Dancer tote bag. Last year, a full-blown Little Dancer musical — directed and written by Tony Award winners — premiered at the Kennedy Center. (Despite mixed reviews, the creators are hoping to mount another production in LA next summer.)
And now, available for $13 on the National Gallery's website, there is ... this.
Wait. That doesn't look ... is that really the best place to hook the chain to...
There's only one explanation for this. Some anonymous purist, or a team of them, decided that the corporatization of Little Dancer had to end before it destroyed her soul. So they designed a pendant that turns your neck into a gallows for the world's most beloved inanimate ballerina.
We can't imagine who would spend $13 on what looks like a cheap souvenir of a juvenile execution. That must be exactly the point: it could only have been made as a tragic meta-commentary about what happens to a single work of art when it gets loved too greedily: cheaply commoditized, mass-produced, turned into a symbol of itself — a trademark, even — and strangled with its own ubiquity.
Well done, art-loving heroes. We salute you.