Two artists: Land, Chast

R. (for Ronnie) Land and Roz Chast, two American artists, out of the Art mainstream. Both entertain, both pointedly observe the culture around them. But otherwise they’re quite different: male vs. female, centered in Atlanta vs. centered in NYC, mostly producing “underground art” in public places vs. mostly known through cartoons in tony publications, presumably Christian vs. definitely Jewish, deeply private and unforthcoming about his life vs. exposng much of her life and opinions in her art and in interviews.

The two of them recently brought to my attention, Land through a posting from 2012 of one of his works (Little Bunny Foo Foo art at Grant Central Pizza Restaurant in Atlanta), Chast through an exhibition of her work at the Contemporary Jewish Museum (CJM) in San Francisco.

Two samples: Land’s Pray for ATL image, displayed in public, in several forms, in many places all around the city; and Chast’s “More Hamptons” cartoon, both very much of their place:

(#1)

(#2)

The Land plays on the ostentatious public religiosity of the American South, the Chast on wealthy New Yorkers’ inclination to summer in the Hamptons (at the eastern end of Long Island), leaving less favored New Yorkers to seek relief at home (in a cool bathtub, next to a fan, on their building’s rooftop).

On the Hamptons, from Wikipedia:

The Hamptons, also called the “East End” (of Long Island), are a group of villages and hamlets in the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, which form the South Fork of Long Island, New York. The Hamptons form a popular seaside resort, one of the historical summer colonies of the American Northeast. The area features some of the most expensive and luxurious residential properties in the U.S.; in 2016, according to Business Insider, the 11962 ZIP Code encompassing Sagaponack, within Southampton, was listed as the most expensive in the U.S., with a median home sale price of $8.5 million.

Praying for ATL. Land has a website packed with other examples of his work, including a Catlanta parody of his image in #1:

(#3)

Little Bunny Foo Foo. On this blog, a 4/5/17 piece on the children’s song, which goes (in part, in one version): Little bunny Foo Foo / I don’t want to see you / Scooping up the field mice /And bopping them on the head. The R. Land illustration:

(#4)

The CJM Chast show takes off from Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Chast’s graphic memoir of her parents’ final years:

(#5)

(Hat tip to Rod Williams.)

While Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? forms the basis of the exhibition (every one of the approximately 150 drawings in the original book will be on view), there is a great deal more: dozens of Chast’s original cartoons and covers for The New Yorker, as well as cartoon illustrations for her own and other writers’ books for both children and adults; rugs made by the artist; and personal material related to her parents. There will also be a video interview with the artist; a video of her at work on a life-sized mural; and a walk-in, life-sized recreation of one of her cartoons.

The exhibition was organized and debuted at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts in June 2015, traveled to the Museum of the City of New York in 2016 and makes its Western debut at The CJM. (link)

The museum, at 736 Mission St. in SF:

(#6)

Two items from the exhibit: a New Yorker cover “Venus at the Beach” from 8/4/14; and a Sluggo and Nancy mock critique of Chast’s cartoon “The Three Certainties”:

(#7)

(#8)

And, as lagniappe, a photo of Chast herself in mid-interview:

(#9)

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