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BoJack Horseman: Season 3 Art References

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It’s baa-aack.

Scathing, clever and poignant as ever. BoJack Horseman Season 3 is out on Netflix sooooo y’all know what I did this weekend!

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I binged. I binged hard. 

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Luckily for me, Season 3 did not disappoint. They served up more animal puns than a girl could ever want, and some fairly awesome art historical references which I have so kindly rounded up for you right here in this blog! 

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See here if you want the dish on art from Seasons 1+2.

**SPOILER ALERT**….There are spoilers below. 

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This first one is awesome. In a flashback, Mr. Peanut Butter is hosting an art auction fundraiser for John Edwards (lolz). They’ve done a number on Damien Hirst’s infamous sculpture The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, which is a Great White shark suspended in a vat of formaldehyde. 

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The BoJack version has board shorts, and is also part human (like the title character). He is also alive, unlike Hirst’s fishy friend, which becomes clear as he adorably pounds at the glass container with his little shark arms, begging for escape. Which is how I feel at a Damien Hirst retrospective, so it all comes full circle.

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Next, we’ve got another big hitter. In an episode sure to be remembered for having some of the coolest animation of the series, BoJack visits Pacific Ocean City. You guessed it, it’s an under sea metropolis. It’s fitting then that his hotel room is outfitted with a fish-y version of Picasso’s Figure at the Seaside.

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(We can also see the difficulty of getting your buzz on 20,000 leagues deep.)

 The original version is slightly creepier with the open jaws and spiky tongues. 

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They both have boobs though, so that’s nice.

I can’t say enough good things about the underwater episode, really. It’s like Finding Nemo meets Lost in Translation meets Rick and Morty. Case in point, this awesome spoof on a George Bellows painting featuring Moby Dick and his whale duking it out in the ring:

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This is a particularly clever reference seeing as the athletic club Bellow’s used to hang out in was called Sharkey’s. 

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Here’s an original for comparison, called Stag at Sharkey’s.

Back on land at the Hotel Kangaroosevelt, we’ve got a nod to Mexican muralist Diego Rivera:

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Of course in Rivera’s version, the man isn’t half horse…

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And the horse is really what it’s all about. BoJack is a notorious egomaniac, as can be gleaned from his bathroom’s Roman-style mosaic, crafted in the shape of his very favorite subject:

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BOJACK, duh.

Moving right along, and without giving away tooooo many spoilers, Diana visits the house of an Entourage type voiced by James Franco’s little brother, whose name I will surely remember to Google before posting this. In his foyer, he’s got a familiar work of art:

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This was one of the rare moments in the series the characters openly acknowledge the art ref, when Diane comments “Holy shit, is that a Klimt?!”

What they don’t say is why they’ve replaced the people in the original with snakes:

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Maybe so we’ll call it The Kissssssss. Heh heh heh. You love it. 

Amphibians are also well represented. One of my favorite characters, Charley Witherspoon, is an incompetent tree frog who was launched to success like so many others before him: nepotism. 

In a super cute nod to his species, he has Claude Monet’s Waterlilies hanging in his office:

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(Just past the man bun.)

The next featured artwork did the work of MUCHO foreshadowing, but I’ll say no more. It’s in the bedroom of BoJack’s “Horsin’ Around” costar Sarah Lynn, a child actress who grew up to have a raging drug and alcohol addiction, amongst other psychological issues. Shocker!

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They zoom in on her here as Ophelia from the famous John Millais painting:

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In another awesome moment, Sarah Lynn licks a Marc Chagall painting because that’s where she hides her LSD:

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Which is probably what Chagall was taking to see flying goats and stuff.

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But that story line is pretty #dark. 

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Let’s go back to Mr. Peanut Butter’s house and imagine what it would be like if we let the doggos decorate:

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Still Life with Slippers and Morning Paper? Too cute. (And can we talk about their bed?!) 

Welp, that’s all for this time. Until next summer, BJ lovers! I mean, fellow BoJack fans. 

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By Angelica Jardini

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Angelica Jardini

Sr. Editor

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