Improv Everywhere’s King Phillip IV autograph performance at the Met (image via

Contemporary art definitely has its superstars, but art history? For this special day, Spanish painting celebrity and subject of a portrait by Velazquez, King Phillip IV signed autographs in front of his picture on view at the Metropolitan museum.

NYC troublemakers Improv Everywhere staged the performance, featuring Chadwick Elliott impersonating King Phillip IV, who he just happens to exactly resemble, down to the slightly coiffed red hair and long face. The resemblance is pretty astounding, which is probably why the autograph signing drew a crowd immediately, as well as the attention of some museum guards.

According to the Met’s website, the portrait was probably painted in 1624 and measures over six feet tall. Improv Everywhere has a photo essay of the performance, but also check out the video they shot, embedded below. Really brings art history to life, right? If only Kate Moss did the same. Actually, ew.

YouTube video

For another art world parody, check out Funny or Die’s satire of Banksy’s Exit Through the Gift Shop documentary. Exit through the Stall Door shows a fellow street artist on the way to stardom, only rather than stenciling city walls, this guy scrawls “is gay” on bathroom stalls and the work of other taggers. It would be funny if it weren’t so true. [Hat tip to Vandalog]

Kyle Chayka

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly,...