Art vs. Art – The Old Guitarist vs. Broadway Danny Rose

by Tony Shea on October 19, 2012


There are those that say that art can not be judged against other art. And there are those that say that art can only be judged by category, painters vs. painters, writers vs. writers and so on. And then there are those, like us, that say throw them in the ring. We wrote down a list of 124 works of art we felt we could make a case for as being truly great (including books, paintings, sculptures, films, albums/songs) and put them in a hat. We chose two at random. And so now we ask you to choose, which is better?

You must choose one. There are no ties.

Please put on your lawyer hats and make your case for the winner in the COMMENTS section (Scroll to the bottom). Be as concise or in depth as you like. Every Friday we’ll have a new installment. We’ll tabulate the results and reveal the definitive and absolute winner on Friday of the following week.

Pablo Picasso’s, The Old Guitarist, 1903

Woody’s Allen’s 1984 film, Broadway Danny Rose


Tony Shea ( Editor-in-Chief, New York)

Tony Shea is based in New York, having recently moved from Los Angeles after more than a decade on the sunny coast. His short films have won numerous awards and screened at major festivals around the world including Comic-Con. As a musician, he is the lead singer for Los Angeles rock n’ roll band Candygram For Mongo (C4M) who has been a featured artist on Clear Channel Radio’s Discover New Music Program and whose songs have been heard on Battlestar Gallactica (Syfy Channel) and Unhitched (Fox) among other shows and films.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Tony Shea November 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm

DLR – Good catching up last week. You still got it baby. Looking forward to hanging on this upcoming tour.

Lynn Bryan Johnson October 26, 2012 at 5:57 am

Picasso painted The Old Guitarist when he was very depressed. He was also quite poor and was said to have only been able to afford one paint color to finish this work, which he chose to be blue (guitar notwithstanding) to encapsulate and represent his state of mind, likewise depicted in the lowly subject. The painting also represents his Blue Period for that dual reasoning.

Woody Allen starred along side his former girlfriend Mia Farrow in the black-and-white film, Broadway Danny Rose. They adopted a child named Soon-Li that Allen would soon-ly marry even though she was his child on paper (though he argued that it was not so…black-and-white). While that smarmy fact has nothing to do with Broadway Danny Rose, it’s both so gross and engrossing that it needs to be observed.

But with respect to the film, I think Milton Berle–who plays himself in the picture–could arguably be compared to The Old Guitarist because they both have tremendously defined cheek bones. I am basing my argument on this factor. Milton Berle’s cheeks look like someone shoved Tupperware bowls in his face up through his wildly large
wait-till-they-get-a-load-of-me-mouth. How can you look, yet how can you look away?

I appoint the Spaniard.

Thad Weitz October 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

Come on, it’s Picasso. With all due respect to Woody Allen and his nebbish, self-absorbed humor, he ain’t Picasso. Plus, if you take the broader view, the painting by Picasso is an excellent example of but one of his many self-reinventions. Woody Allen’s movies–with a few exceptions–kind of all beat the same drum.

Steve K October 22, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Old Gutarist

I could look at him off and on for years to come. How many times can one really watch Broadway Danny Rose?

Dan O October 22, 2012 at 11:41 am

My choice-Broadway Danny Rose

Dan O October 22, 2012 at 11:39 am

This is a tough choice. The old man, with no shoes, a ripped shirt, playing what might be his last song ever, clinging to something that he enjoys, vs. the Crazy upbeat energy of Broadway Danny Rose.

The song that I cannot hear from, The Old Guitarist, is very depressing. Broadway Danny Rose may be neurotic, but that is a tune that lifts me. Picasso’s 1903 painting brings me down. Although, I do identify with both.

David Lee Roth October 22, 2012 at 11:21 am

Picasso is old and dead, which makes his work invalid in orthodox punk rock terms even though this is an otherwise nice painting of an old blue(s)man. However, Woody Allen did not choose to feature the inimitable talents of Kevin Bacon in Broadway Danny Rose, which makes this film invalid in the eyes of diehard Footloose fans. Therefore, the winner is the Flash Gordon soundtrack by Queen.

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