American Heroes (The Coon & Mysterion)

Jean Pierre Arboleda and Hannah Yata

    • 14 X 18 inches
    • © 2015
    • Oil on Panel
    • Framed to 15.5 X 19.5 inches 
  • The Coon & Mysterion: "The Coon" is the second episode of the thirteenth season of the American animated television series South Park. In the episode, Cartman poses as a superhero vigilante named "The Coon", who grows increasingly jealous of the popularity and success of a rival superhero named "Mysterion".Donning a disguise modeled after a raccoon, Cartman becomes a vigilante dubbed "The Coon", who attempts to wipe out crime in South Park. Though Cartman tries to raise awareness about The Coon through word of mouth, nobody pays much attention to the Coon's efforts. When he reports "crimes" (such as mistaking a man innocently trying to kiss his date for a rapist) to the police department, he is threatened with jail time and snubbed off. During class, Cartman tries to hype up an appearance from the Coon, saying he will be on roof of a Walgreens later that evening. Cartman (as the Coon) shows up to the spot to find another child superhero named "Mysterion", who is far more successful in garnering appreciation as a crime stopping icon from the police and South Park citizens who want to know just "Who is Mysterion?" Cartman is angered by his lack of popularity and the attention Mysterion is receiving. The Coon tries to discover the identity of Mysterion, but only finds more questions when Wendy suggests that it may not necessarily be a boy. To which Carthen says "Fuckin bitch" after gasping.

    Coon decides to rid the town of Mysterion, enlisting the help of Professor Chaos (Butters) and his sidekick General Disarray (Dougie). Unlike the Coon, Professor Chaos and General Disarray have become as familiar to the residents of South Park as Mysterion. Butters also wants to know the identity of Mysterion but can only narrow the list of suspects to the boys from Mr. Garrison's 4th grade class whose shapes do not differ greatly from that of others. In contrast, he has nearly pinned down Coon's identity to a few fat celebrities, and Cartman. In a scheme to uncover Mysterion's identity, the Coon convinces Professor Chaos to threaten the destruction of a hospital unless Mysterion reveals his identity. After the Coon plants the TNT and leaves to buy detonators, Mysterion unexpectedly arrives. He points out that this is not Professor Chaos' usual style, and fights Professor Chaos and General Disarray on top of the building. A crowd forms below and cheers on Mysterion as the police take no actions, believing that their bullets are no match for Professor Chaos' aluminum foil armor. Dramatically, the Coon appears to fight on the side of Mysterion, with the hopes that he too will be hailed as a hero. At that point, Professor Chaos and General Disarray run off in defeat. After their victory, the Coon convinces Mysterion to unmask himself by claiming such threats to public safety will continue until Mysterion's secret is revealed.

    Despite the threat of imprisonment, Mysterion unmasks himself, showing the television viewers only the portion of his face that looks similar to almost all of Mr. Garrison's 4th grade class. The crowd, however, is shocked to learn Mysterion's identity and, much to the regret of all except Coon, who says that he knew who Mysterion was, even calling him out on it at one point (though this helps the audience little as Cartman claimed that practically everyone in his class was Mysterion at times), Mysterion is hauled to prison. With Professor Chaos, General Disarray and Mysterion defeated, Cartman now perceives that he is the superhero in South Park and that every town should have a Coon like him.

  • Hannah Yata: The pictures forming in my head are ones of domination over nature, the struggle of animals in a changing world, and the effects of a changing world on the animals and humans. Women became the metaphor for mother nature as wild and sexual thing exploited and explored in my work, and animals became the subjects of examining abnormalities and evolution. Taking ideas that I had learned from ideas on feminism, I began to draw parallels in our ways of controlling and objectifying women to how we also think about the earth and its resources therein. 

    Jean Pierre Arboleda: The love for animals and nature inspires me to make work the addresses issues of war, environmental toxicity, and evolutionary change. the subjects on the canvases mutate and morph, suffering from destruction and chaos. amidst the chaos, i tie in societal issues and and re-contextualize them with animals as a critique against humanity: my animals build bombs and machines to gear up for a war in efforts to exterminate one another, other animals start to become one with the very machinery they build- sprouting wires and mechanical parts. it is my concern, in my work, that i address our practices of amassing weapons, the extermination of each other, and the real value of the science behind it.

  • This piece will be on exhibit through July 3, 2015 and will be shipped within a week of the exhibition closing date. Shipping costs will be invoiced separately at the time of shipment for this piece. If you would like to arrange a gallery pickup, just add a note when checking out and we will contact you to schedule a time.

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