This week, Cookie Monster and the Sesame Street gang are off to the Museum of Modern Cookie to see some of history’s greatest Cookie Art in The Cookie Thief (airing on PBS throughout the week, check your local listings). According to what we’ve seen so far in trailers, Cookie Monster thinks the best piece in the whole museum is The Muncha Lisa, painted by esteemed Cookie Artist Leonardo da Crunchy. Unfortunately, Cookie is 100% wrong about Cookie Art. You see, while art is subjective, Cookie Art is not. Just as chocolate-chocolate chip is the definitive best cookie, there is an absolute best piece of cookie art, and The Muncha Lisa isn’t it. For you and Cookie Monster’s education, we here at ToughPigs have assembled a list of the twenty greatest pieces of Cookie Art currently on display at this museum. Use this list to help plan your visit to The Museum of Modern Cookie in case Prairie Dawn isn’t available to give tours.
- Untitled, Cookie Warhol
Like the work of his pop art peer Andy Warhol, Cookie Warhol’s print uses well-known images and bright colors to make a compelling statement about modern culture and consumerism. Unfortunately, Cookie Warhol’s piece stumbles because the cookie he depicted looks a lot more like a doughnut, and doughnut doesn’t even start with the letter “C.”
- Cookie Flowers, Vincent van Dough
Van Dough is an incredibly prolific Cookie Impressionist with several pieces in the Museum of Modern Cookie. His bold brush strokes are a striking component of Cookie Flowers, but his bizarre choice to draw cookie flowers without stems is simply confusing and contradicts everything we know about Cookie Botany.
- Self-Portrait, Leonardo da Crunchy
Leonardo da Crunchy was a multitalented Cookie Artist who made several contributions to both the Cookie Arts and the Cookie Sciences in his long and prolific life. This so-called “selfie” was one of many the artist painted throughout his lifetime in an attempt to understand more about the structure of his visage. Da Crunchy’s notes on this work read “I’ve got eyes, ears, nose, mouth, cheeks, and chin each in its place: and they’re all part of one fine face.” That doesn’t make it any more interesting to look at a painting that’s basically just a yellow Gandalf.
- Melancookie, Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch (pronounced like how you’d eat a cookie) painted several variants of Melancookie throughout his career, reflecting on the unhappiness that permeated his and his associates’ lives. For years, many have wondered if the subject of this painting is a man or a Muppet. However, few debate that Munch missed the point with this painting, as it is physically impossible to feel melancholy when surrounded by this many chocolate chip cookies.
- The Cookie Eaters, Vincent van Dough
In this painting, van Dough tried to capture the experience of being a Cookie Peasant in the Cookie Netherlands. Legend says that he hired some of the ugliest Anything Muppets he could to pose as models for this piece to capture the authenticity. While van Dough’s early experiments with light would culminate in Cookie Impressionist masterpieces like Starry Cookie Night and Wheatfield with Cookies, Cookie Art Critics often find this painting to be a little half-baked. Wocka wocka.
- Lady With Cookie, Leonardo da Crunchy
Leonardo da Crunchy painted several portraits of women throughout his long career, some more famous than others. This striking portrait of a friend of the Duke of Cookie Milan reminds the viewer that there once was a time when cookies were exclusively for the upper-class. Unfortunately, no one wants to be reminded of such a sad truth, and so this painting has fallen into obscurity.
- The Melancholic Cookie-Singer, Cookie Joan Miro
Miro’s abstract work encourages the viewer to explore their own thoughts and perspectives. This painting, which to the average hungry viewer seems to depict a nose smelling the delicious aroma of cookies in a cookie jar, is one of his most famous. However, the idea of a giant floating nose was so terrifying that even Miro himself couldn’t sleep at night after thinking too hard about this piece.
- Self-Portrait, Vincent van Dough
Though van Dough’s work is some of the best-known pieces of Cookie Art today, he was extremely unpopular during his lifetime and thus often felt very sad. This painting depicts him on a day where he was feeling very happy, probably because he had a delicious plate of cookies in front of him. Like much of van Dough’s work, this picture’s bold colors show a strong understanding not only of light, shadow, and texture, but also of which cookies made the best palette to paint with.
- Girl with a Cookie Earring, Johannes Cookie Vermeer
Most of Vermeer’s Cookie Art depicts elaborate scenes of explorers, artists, and Honkers in intricately organized rooms, but Girl with a Cookie Earring displays a much more intimate tableau. For years, many have wondered about the inspiration for the girl’s wistful stare. Perhaps she, much like the viewer, is wondering why someone would wear a cookie as an earring.
- Cookie-Icarus, Cooki Matisse
Originally a Cookie Painter, as Cooki Matisse’s vision worsened, he turned to collage as a new form of expression. In Cookie-Icarus, Matisse is able to capture the feeling when a monster’s pride leads him to believe he can eat cookies right out of the oven, only to get burned and drop cookies everywhere. However, many have wondered why Matisse didn’t prevent this by teaching his subject stronger executive functioning skills, perhaps through a regular series of film parody clips.
- Vitruvian Gingerbread Man, Leonardo da Crunchy
For centuries, mankind has known that sweet gingerbread men are brown, tasty, and tan when fresh out of the pan. However, in a fascinating intersection between science, math, and art, da Crunchy sought to explore just how to bake an ideally-proportioned gingerbread man through this pen-and-ink sketch. This work still serves as an inspiration to Cookie Artists and bakers around the world, who now know much more about gumdrop buttons than anyone in da Crunchy’s time would have.
- Starry Cookie Night, Vincent van Dough
This is unquestionably van Dough’s most celebrated work of Cookie Art, with gorgeous spirals of light and color that create an inspiring landscape. Said to represent the view from van Dough’s window, this Cookie Painting shows the artist’s dream of a world in which not only the moon, but also the stars, were cookies. For years, Cookie Art Critics have noted that there is no better visualization of van Dough’s expert knowledge of light and shadow than the black-and-white cookies depicted here.
- The Persistence of Cookies, Salvador Cookie Dali
As a surrealist, Salvador Cookie Dali was known for challenging his audience’s expectations not only in his Cookie Art, but also in his daily life. This chilling painting, which presents a desert landscape where even cookies melt, forces the viewer to rethink everything they know about the cosmic order of cookies. Could there ever be a world where cookies are persistent, instead of ephemerally gobbled up by shaggy blue monsters whenever they appear? Maybe if the cookies were this…melty. That’s just gross.
- Untitled, Piet Cookie Mondrian
Piet Cookie Mondrian’s work often confuses Cookie Art novices, who wonder what meaning there could possibly be behind simple blocks of color. However, his non-representational form blends Cookie Architecture and Cookie Art into a delicious sandwich cookie of style. The juxtaposition here of different shades of brown is a notable departure from Cookie Mondrian’s usual style, as is the mix of round and square cookies. At the very least, the latter makes this painting an excellent tool to teach shapes to curious preschoolers.
- Drowning Cookie, Cookie Lichtenstein
Pop art like Lichtenstein’s blurs the line between so-called “low Cookie Art” and “high Cookie Art,” encouraging the viewer to appreciate the small pieces of Cookie Art and the small emotional stresses that they meet each day. This piece, which expands a comic book panel to an enormous size, evokes the terrible feeling of breaking up with Brad and also being dunked into a glass of milk. Truly, it is an eye-opening look into the crises cookiekind experience every day.
- Cookie Crosses the Delaware, Emanuel Cookie Leutze
As many know, in 1776, George Washington and Grover Monster crossed the Delaware in order to throw a surprise party for the Hessian soldiers on their day off. What many do not know is that Cookie Washington, the first president of Cookie America, did much the same in his quest to achieve independence from the King of Biscuit England and his disgusting “digestive biscuits.” As this painting shows, the journey was quite harrowing, as any cookie that fell into the Delaware River would be instantly dissolved. Leutze captures a sense of determination and duty on each cookie’s face that still inspires Cookie Patriots to this day.
- The Cream, Edvard Munch
If it hasn’t been made apparent, much of Cookie Art is about sharing emotions with the viewer, which of course makes it an excellent addition to a preschool lifeskills curriculum. However, no piece conveys a feeling as raw and painful as The Cream does. The combination of the figure’s aghast expression and the swirling orange background makes the viewer feel the sense of pure terror that accompanies dropping one’s last cookie. No five-second rule can help the subject of this painting in this surreal and horrifying landscape. Munch’s choice to draw two best friends ignoring the shrieking figure further isolates the viewer in despair. The least they could do is play the “I eight the sandbox” game with him, you know?
- Muncha Lisa, Leonardo da Crunchy
Okay, Cookie Monster. I’ll put your favorite at #3. Truly, the Muncha Lisa is an inspiring work of Cookie Art, which depicts a mysterious Muppet with a smile that has made audiences wonder for years just how many cookies has she already eaten. This painting presents more questions than it answers, as we still do not know exactly which Muppet this is or why she deserved to be painted in such a grandiose style. Such riddles have inspired countless viewers, leaving them hungry for more information.
- Monster Before a Mirror, Pablo Picookie
In his later Cookie Art, Pablo Picookie painted scenes of massive national fear, such as Guernicookie. This earlier painting, which depicts a skinny gray monster eyeing himself in a mirror, expresses the much more everyday anxiety that one will see a startling monster in the mirror who will say “Wubba wubba wubba,” or, as they say in Spain, “Wubba wubba wubba.” Picookie’s colorful cubist style usually allows the viewer to see both sides of his subject simultaneously; this painting takes that further by showing us the monster’s inside.
- The Brother of Mr. Noodle, Cookiee Magritte
Cookie Surrealism takes many forms. Unlike Salvador Cookie Dali, who painted elaborate dreamscapes of impossible objects, Cookiee Magritte simply juxtaposed unrelated everyday items to create a sense of confusion and unease in his viewer. This painting combines two things most people see every day—cookies and pantomime clowns—into a compelling image of man’s silence in the face of the things he most desires. This is a haunting piece of Cookie Art that gives the viewer much to…Look, I’ll drop the act here. This is a painting of Mr. Noodle’s Brother Mr. Noodle passed off as fine art. I don’t think anyone can argue this isn’t the best thing in this gallery.
Anyway, I hope you now know enough about Cookie Art to seem like an expert at your next fancy Cookie Dinner Party. Have any arguments? Let us know. And be sure to watch The Cookie Thief to learn even more about this fascinating subject.
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by Evan G.