Is it one of the biggest blunders by an artist of all time, or merely a joke designed to go viral?
A mural in Linz, Austria purporting to be of late musician Kurt Cobain has gone viral, again, thanks to its inaccurate portrayal of the legendary grunge rocker.
Rather than looking like Cobain, who died in 1994, the mural clearly depicts US actor and comedian David Spade.
Spade posted the image to his Instagram feed this week after the mural went viral again after first spreading on the internet in 2017.
"I think this is going around again. The picture of me on a building in Austria by an artist. He says its kurt Cobain the quote is wrong also. Its from neil young (i think). It's kind of funny and meant to be confusing (sic)," he wrote.
Although the mural has drawn comparisons with some of the other great artistic blunders that were meant to be tributes (such as the infamous statue of soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo), in this case the mistake appears to be a deliberate joke on behalf of the artist.
Picture that was on mural. Why it's on it who knows. oh well. I blame that crazy internet pic.twitter.com/KxQ8IQ0fwz— David Spade (@DavidSpade) September 24, 2017
"Lushsux" describes himself on his Instagram profile as "The world's first and therefore best meme artist" and, despite the famous mural's Austrian location, he's actually based in Melbourne.
What Kurt Cobain actually looked like. Photo: Getty Images
Not only does the mural depict the wrong person, but the quote, "It's better to burn out than fade away", is from Neil Young, not Kurt Cobain (though the quote did appear in Cobain's suicide note).
It's a similar technique to a famous viral meme aimed at trolling fans of some of the worlds biggest sci-fi and fantasy properties, which featured the quote "Use the force, Harry," and attributed it to "Gandalf" while depicting Patrick Stewart, best known as Captain Jean-Luc Picard from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The confusing mix of Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and Star Trek was deliberately designed to drive nerds insane.
It's not the only time Lushsux has used this technique himself. Another mural features the quote "We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians", credited to Nelson Mandela, but depicting actor Morgan Freeman (who played Mandela in the film Invictus).
The artist has created many works around Melbourne, some of which have run into controversy. In 2016, a mural depicting Kanye West in bed with with a naked Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift (an image taken from the video clip for West's song Famous). The image was censored after complaints, as was another image of Hilary Clinton in a skimpy swimsuit. He also painted an image of Taylor Swift in Hosier Lane, suggesting the pop star was dead.
Lushsux acknowledged the Spade mural's viral resurgence on Saturday, posting "this one going viral for whats gotta be like the the umpteeth time, i think @davidspade must wanna see me waterboarded by now (sic)".