She was most definitely the It Girl of the 17th century, but who would have thought that La Infanta Margarita would be Spain’s viral sweetie at the end of 2017? Thank parodist Christian Flores, whose “trap remix” of Diego Velázquez’s groundbreaking Las Meninas painting has somehow endeared the luckless princess in the hearts of over a half million viewers. The viral video was posted on Saturday by Spanish comedy site Playground.
The clip has been hailed as commentary on historical machismo, but the core of Flores’ work is high art nerddom. Lyrics focus on an exchange between Velázquez, the royal court’s palace chamberlain and the most famous painter of his era, and La Infanta Margarita, the 5-year-old who was the only heir to the Spanish throne at the time. In true royal incest fashion, she would marry her much older uncle when she was 14 and die from her role as a reproductive vessel — at 21, having her fourth baby. Her younger brother Charles II would eventually take the throne, at any rate.
Their dialogue is expressed in Spanish meme dialect (“velaskes yo soi guapa?” is destined to become a classic) and focuses on Margaret’s teetering self-image. Perhaps more importantly, it also reveals the painting’s famous trickeries — Velázquez’s swap of observer for subject, and the juxtaposition of the piece’s inhabitants for a representation of high court drama. Some viewers have called for the clip to be integrated in Spanish arts education, since we all know kids love the memes.
What Flores (who is best known for strumming his way through less-viral humor clips like “Busco Trabajo”) is probably not doing with the clip is entering the list of respected artists in the ubiquitous, maligned music genre populated by Yung Beef and crew in Spain. After all, the most popular YouTube comment on the clip? “The first trap that I’ve liked.”