Odd News Show

Fart Collectors: Museum Begs Guests to Bring Underwear

Tired of going commando? A St. Louis museum wants to break the world record of people wearing underwear on their heads. They’re asking guests to show up with underwear over their faces and hope to beat the previous world record of 270 people.

By Jonas Polsky · March 7, 2024

This is art. Worldrecordacademy.org

30,000 years ago a caveman drew a buffalo wearing a pair of underwear on the wall of a cave. A few weeks ago, that same cave drawing sold for more than six thousand dollars.

Art history began with a simple drawing of a buffalo wearing an enormous pair of tighty whities, and since then underwear has been a persistent motif in the artform.

When Andy Warhol painted thirty-two nearly identical paintings of every variety of Fruit of the Loom underwear, the art world took little notice. Decades later they’re his most enduring works. Pablo Picasso painted “Guernica” to protest the bombing of a Spanish underwear factory. In Leonardo da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” we see the shock and surprise as Christ reveals that one of his apostles planned to betray him – by stealing his underwear.

From boxers to briefs, g-strings and thongs, anywhere you look in an art museum you’ll see a depiction of some type of underwear. Examples include the sculpture of Michelangelo’s David in his crotchless underwear, and Venus de Milo whose arms (and underwear) have fallen off. Like a wedgie, art and underwear are hopelessly intertwined, and impossible to be separated.

There were some art movements that rebelled, and tried to remove the icon of underpants from their works. But in its absence, the cotton-y shadow of underwear loomed even larger than if it had been included.

Devoted art enthusiast on his way to a gallery.  John MacDougall/Getty Images

Like a naked man searching for his lost underwear, a work of art exposes the parts of the artist that are normally concealed. Upon contemplation, it changes the viewer’s perception of the world – like a pair of underwear that’s been turned inside out.

It’s no wonder that art enthusiasts frequently arrive at museums with underwear over their heads. Art and underwear are practically interchangeable.

A large family staggers out of the Museum of Modern Art after a long day. They’re all clad with underwear over their faces and a baby in a stroller that (naturally) has a disposable diaper on its head. Wearing underwear to museums and art galleries has become a silent nod to underwear’s important contribution to the creation of art, and to represent the wearer as a devoted patron of the arts.

Like M.C. Escher’s mind-bending drawings of impossibly tangled underwear, the line between what is art and what is a pair of panties is incredibly blurred.

Underwear has left an indelible fingerprint on art history, like a tiny brown stain – barely noticeable – but impossible to ever fully erase.