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Archive for the ‘Art in Cartoons’ Category


Fresh Meat: SVA Student Comics Fair on May 2nd

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

When I was in NYC visiting art galleries last Friday, I picked up a copy of the Village Voice, and realized that while I used to read the Voice all the time when I lived in NYC, I hadn’t really read it much in the 10+ years since I’ve moved to the suburbs. As I was browsing the pages, I happened upon an ad that caught my attention – the headline was “Fresh Meat.”

“Fresh Meat” is an annual Comics Fair organized by the students at SVA (School of Visual Arts, in NYC). It takes place this year on May 2nd, from 6-9pm, and will be located at 271 East 23rd Street. This comics fair allows SVA students to have the opportunity to exhibit their self-published comics and prints, and is considered to be a premier event to meet the rising talent in the next generation of cartoonists. For more information, check out the Fresh Meat site here.

Fresh Meat is the name of an SVA NYC Student Comics Fair, held on May 2


If Théodore Géricault had watched a lot of cartoons …

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

… then he might have painted his masterpiece “Raft of the Medusa” like this. This version is by the Chinese artist Zhang Gong, and is on display right now at the Klein Sun Gallery at 525 West 22nd Street in NYC. Scroll down to see the original painting by Géricault. For more on Zhang Gong, check out his website here.

Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Spiderman and other comic characters

Gericault's masterpiece painting titled the Raft of the Medusa


Christian Marclay to Batman: Whap!

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

The current exhibition at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC features new paintings and works on paper by Christian Marclay. The exhibition, which is on view at the 534 West 21st Street gallery, runs through January 18, 2014.

As you can see from the example below, the paintings are somewhat abstract expressionist in style but include onomatopoeias (which are words that are formed to replicate the sound being made) that evoke the sound of painting actions, such as “sploosh” and “slurp.” (scroll down for more)

onomatopoeias in paintings by Christian Marclay

Marclay acknowledges that the visual representation of these words are inspired by comic books, although the first thing that they brought to mind for me was the way these types of words were used in the old Adam West “Batman” tv show. We found an Argentinian fan site that has gone through the trouble of cataloging all of the sounds used on the show and which episode they were in – now that’s the work of a true fan! Some of our favorites include: “aiieee,” “cr-r-a-a-ck,” “qunckkk,” and the somewhat mysterious “flrbbbbb,” used in 4 different episodes! Below are some visuals to share with you …

onomatopoeia from the Adam West Batman tv show


A Live Painting Experience by Misha Tyutyunik

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

I was introduced to the work of Misha Tyutyunik at the Fountain Art Fair this past spring. In his artist statement, Misha describes that “the content and subject matter of my paintings is largely dictated by current events and social/political constructs, the individuals that we make figureheads to represent us, and how they later become the ones to take the brunt of our blame.” Below left we have “Mourning,” from 2011, featuring Batman and President Obama, and below right we have “The Iron Curtain,” from 2012, featuring Iron Man and Joseph Stalin.

paintings by Misha Tyutyunik

I see from Tyutyunik’s website that he also does what he describes as “live painting experiences,” where he paints at specific locations in the midst of other people, as opposed to being alone in the studio. Here’s one below, where he’s creating a mural of Louis Armstrong at Sing Sing Karaoke in NYC. I’ve always thought that it’s interesting to watch an artist at work, to see how one approaches the creation of the image, and watching it unfold.


Dave Devries and The Monster Engine

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

I happened upon an interesting project this morning: “The Monster Engine,” by artist Dave Devries. Devries is a professional illustrator who has done work for Marvel and DC Comics, Dreamworks, Lucasfilm, Universal Studios, and Sega, among others. The Monster Engine, however, is a project that takes kids’ drawings and turns them into realistic adaptations. Devries writes: “It began at the Jersey Shore in 1998, where my niece Jessica often filled my sketchbook with doodles. While I stared at them, I wondered if color, texture and shading could be applied for a 3D effect. As a painter, I made cartoons look three dimensional every day for the likes of Marvel and DC comics, so why couldn’t I apply those same techniques to a kid’s drawing? That was it… no research, no years of toil, just the curiosity of seeing Jessica’s drawings come to life.” For more info, check out The Monster Engine website.

The Monster Engine takes kids' drawings and makes them realistic

comic book artist Dave Devries created The Monster Engine project


Using the Art of Dr. Seuss to try to convince the Senate to compromise

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I’ve heard about a very interesting project: Chicago artist Andrew Fishman is trying to send a message to Washington. If Congress can’t work together, America will be stuck in one place while the world moves on without it. His reference point is a short story by Dr. Seuss called The Zax. In it, a North-Going Zax and a South-Going Zax bump into one another. Each Zax refuses to get out of the other’s way and both are hopelessly stuck in the same spot forever. Doesn’t that sound a little like the partisan bickering we hear about all the time these days? Here’s a selection from the book that seems to sum up politics these days perfectly, as the South-Going Zax says: “Never budge! That’s my rule. Never budge in the least! Not an inch to the west! Not an inch to the east! I’ll stay here, not budging! I can and I will, If it makes you and me and the whole world stand still!”

Fishman wants to raise enough money to send every member of the U.S. Senate a copy of this book in the hopes of inspiring bipartisan cooperation. He is using a crowdfunding website called Indiegogo to raise funds. If he raises enough money, he plans to send the House of Representatives copies too. For more information, visit his fundraising page here.

North-Going Zax and South-Going Zax won't budge for each other, just like partisan politics

It is noted that Mr. Fishman is not affiliated with the Dr. Seuss Foundation, this is just his own personal message that he would like to send. To learn more about Fishman and to see his art portfolio, check out his website here.


French graffiti about Americans blowing things up

Monday, November 26th, 2012

I saw these two examples of political graffiti on the streets of Paris on my recent visit there. If you look closely at the image at left, found in the neighborhood near the Canal St. Martin, it looks like George W. Bush (2nd from left) has his foot on the handle of a detonator, with Dick Cheney to his immediate right, grinning in compliance. Who is the guy giving the thumbs up behind them? Boris Yeltsin? It’s hard to say, since part of the wheat-pasted image has been ripped off the wall.

The image at right, as seen in the Latin Quarter neighborhood of Paris, is a different type of “blowing up.” This time it appears that a bicycle pump labeled “Fed” is pumping up Barack Obama (which I’m guessing this is, based on the large ear and hair style, top left). The guy handling the pump doesn’t look like Ben S. Bernanke, the current chairman of The Fed, maybe he’s just supposed to represent a corporate “fat cat” with his big cigar. At any rate, we can’t get the full political message here either, since this one has also been partially ripped off.

It’s interesting that French graffiti artists would want to make art regarding American politics; these appear to be two different styles (and eras), suggesting two different artists dealing with the topic of American politics.

french political graffiti featuring George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Barack Obama


An accidental introduction to the world of Bronys

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I was driving around on some errands today when I pulled up behind another car at a red light and saw this strange bumper sticker which read: “My other ride is 20% cooler,” and had a picture of what appeared to be some sort of rainbow-colored cartoon horse. It struck me as odd, because why the arbitrary number of 20%, and why a rainbow-colored horse?

My other ride is 20% cooler, Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony cartoon series

A quick Google search for “my other ride is 20% cooler” led me to discover that this rainbow-colored horse is a character named “Rainbow Dash” from a children’s show called “My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic.” The reference to “20%” is that it’s a catchphrase that this character uses in the show. From what I’ve gathered so far, it’s a cartoon series created by Hasbro to go along with (and provide a vehicle for) selling cute little “pony” toys, aimed at an audience of young girls. But here’s what threw me for a loop: it seems there is an extensive audience of men who love this cartoon, and call themselves “Bronys,” as in “bro + pony.” It seems to be an internet-based craze, with people re-mixing My Little Pony videos and creating their own alternative images and videos, which then go on to become internet memes. I can’t really read the small text on this link, but it seems it’s an obsession for a lot of people, as you will see by this extensive (and only one of many) “Brony Analysis.”

My Little Pony and a link to a Brony Analysis

So with this information in hand, I have to admit my curiosity was getting the best of me – and I watched an episode, to try to see if I could understand this bizarre situation. Sure enough, the show follows the example of The Simpsons, in that while being a cartoon for kids, there were humorous references that only adults would get. For example, in the episode I saw, there was a mule whose character was based on (and talked like) Julia Childs, and another horse who reenacted scenes from James Bond movies, and the “mystery” of the story took place on a train, like an old Agatha Christie story. The animation was decently interesting, and maybe the frilly frou-frou fantasy of unicorns and rainbows was so over the top that it’s almost somewhat surreal. So I kind of understand how it might hold some appeal, but I just don’t understand how one could reach the level of obsession over it … go figure.


LOL Cats for the Art World

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

After considering the topic of our last post on internet memes and LOL cats as art, we decided to make a couple of our own:

Angry LOL cat talking about Thomas Kinkade
LOL cat art about the Whitney Biennial



Abstracted Cartoon Characters

Thursday, April 5th, 2012

After discovering that abstract cartoon character in our last blog post, we decided to try to create a few of our own. Can you ID the three cartoon characters here?

answers are: Bart Simpson, Scooby Doo, and Garfield the Cat


Vincent Van Gogh at Artsology Artsology offers free online games about the arts, and delivers investigations into topics in the visual arts, music, and literature. Artsology is a good resource for fun learning about the arts for people of all ages and is enjoyed by students, homeschoolers, and adults. Follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our Facebook page. Pablo Picasso paintings at Artsology

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