Abbey Road


At first, I thought this image was an example of pastiche of the Beatles walking across Abbey Road. This is a very famous photograph that many famous people and movies have replicated. There are many different examples of parodies and appropriations. I thought this to be pastiche at first because though it is of lego figures, the lego figures are still that of the original Beatles. However, after a little consideration, this is the reason why this is more of a parody. I thought of the scene in the movie The Parent Trap starring Lindsay Lohan. In the scene, one of Lindsay Lohan’s characters and her mother walked across the street, and they froze for a moment. That was an example of pastiche because it was like it was paying tribute to the Beatles. There was no satirical reference. That scene and this image are very different. Though it is of the Beatles, they are all Lego figures. In the original Abbey Road image, all of the Beatles have very straight arms and legs extended, and the Lego figures are also very straight, but that is because they are Legos and cannot move in swift fluid movements. That is part of the satirical aspect in this Lego image. Instead of being real people, the Beatles are displayed as toy versions of themselves. This image is more of an example of parody than it is a pastiche.


One comment

  1. Barbara, I’m really glad you posted this image and such a reasoned discussion of it. However, I would say that on the spectrum of parody/pastiche, this might be closer to the latter because of its association with commodity culture. Legos are toys, and here the designers are quoting from popular culture rather than creating new characters. They are targeting a media-savvy audience who has seen the Abbey Road cover and knows what the Beatles look like, and furthermore, the image is geared more towards adults than the children who would ostensibly be playing with legos. Perhaps they are parodying the inflexible limbs of lego figures as you say, but this image is also taking rock stars who might have once signified rebellion, youth, and 1960s culture, erasing all of that, and instead making a cheeky visual joke (kind of like the duckface Mona Lisa).

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