Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Two diversions

August 4, 2019

… provided by friends in a time of unspeakable violence, though neither is a totally unmixed pleasure: from Mike McKinley, the 1962 boys’ space adventure yarn Lost City of Uranus, just for the cheap but evergreen double entendre in its title; from Betsy Herrington, a link to the rainbow dreadhead stone lions of Monza, Italy, an admirable exercise in yarn bombing.

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Understanding the bull

August 1, 2019

In the August 5th & 12th New Yorker, this droll cartoon by John McNamee:

(#1)

To understand the cartoon, you must, first of all, recognize the figures of a bull and a bullfighter. Crucial cultural knowledge, but not (I think) especially challenging. Then there are the other details — the two of them are seated in a livingroom, the bull is having a dainty cup of tea, the bullfighter is showing the bull patches of the color red. And then there’s the caption: how does it knit some or all of these things into a joke?

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The artist Tove Jansson

July 20, 2019

Appearing in my Facebook feed a couple of days ago, passed on by Joelle Stepien Bailard, this self-portrait of Swedish-speaking Finnish artist Tove Jansson:


(#1) Tove Jansson (1914-2001), Self-portrait in a fur hat (1941)

From my 10/19/14 posting “Tove Jansson tomorrow”:

Another multiple talent who doesn’t usually get pegged as Artist (without qualification), like many others I’ve written about on this blog (Edward Gorey, for instance). Charming but complex [Moomintroll] books for children (a favorite in our household when my daughter was young), among other things.

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The Skylunch of the American economy

July 14, 2019

The cover of the July 13th Economist is yet another variation on the famous 1932 photograph Lunch Atop a Skyscraper (known in these parts as Skylunch I):


(#1) Recalling Skylunch I in content as well as form: Skylunch I celebrated working people (especially recent immigrants) and the rising NYC (and by extension, the US)

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Three Pride moments

July 11, 2019

Pride Month is past, and so is the Fourth of July (US Independence Day), but my postings on these celebrations will go on for some time. Today, three images for Pride: the art of the flag; penguins at work; and the M&S sandwich.

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Am I a bird?

July 4, 2019

The 7/3 Rhymes With Orange takes us to the Home for Aged Superheroes, where Superman is unsure of the volant creature he sees in the mirror and fears he’s going blind, or slipping into dementia (an unusually poignant theme for a cartoon):


(#1) In the land of the caped superheroes

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The fiberglass men of Skylunchland

July 2, 2019

A few days back, I presented a little art quiz: to identify the source of a piece of conceptual art I called Skylunch III (mounted on a pickup truck passing through Columbus Circle in NYC)


(#1) The Columbus Circle Skylunch III of 6/28/19 (photo by Bob Eckstein) — hereafter, Skylunch IIIA, or just IIIA for short

This was clearly a version of a similarly mounted Sergio Furnari sculpture I called Skylunch II (in mixed media, with metallic finish), which in turn was a three-dimensional homage to a famous 1932 photograph Lunch atop a Skyscraper (New York Construction Workers Lunching on a Crossbeam).

It turns out that IIIA is just Furnari again, but Furnari overseeing a much stranger world than the one of Skylunch II: a land of fiberglass men, demi-clones of the ones in Skylunch I and II, with features varied in many ways, large and small. There’s a whole universe of potential Skylunch IIIs, populated by the fiberglass men of Skylunchland. Apparently, each day a truck goes out — or, maybe, several trucks, it’s hard to know — with a different selection of men on it, in different numbers, arranged in different ways.

I have clear evidence of two different ones currently on the streets of NYC, but of course any number could be created at any time.

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A bit more reaping

June 29, 2019

Just one day after a particularly fine Rhymes With Orange cartoon combining the Desert Island cartoon meme and the Grim Reaper meme — in my 6/27 posting “The Desert Island Reaper” — came a Wayno/Piraro Bizarro with a groaner Grim Reaper pun:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

The figure of the Grim Reaper — the bringer of death — as a window-washer, removing — destroying — the grime on the windows of a high-rise building, with the blade of his scythe replaced by a window-washer’s squeegee.

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Today’s art quiz: Skylunch III

June 28, 2019

Identify that Artwork, 6/28/19: a piece of conceptual art (what I’ll call Skylunch III) taking off on a sculpture (Skylunch II) reproducing a photograph (Skylunch I) showing construction workers eating lunch on a girder high in the sky. Skylunch II and III are mounted on trucks so that they can easily move from place to place.

Bob Eckstein caught sight of Skylunch III in NYC’s Columbus Circle this morning, on top of a pickup truck:

(#1)

Presumably just part of the composition (Skylunch I and II have 11 men, we see 8 here), and the photo is none too clear. I wondered who created it, when, with what materials, for what purpose, and why the men are — or appear to be — all clones of a single model.

Informed answers to any of these questions would be appreciated; comment on this posting, or send me e-mail. (Google Images is useless; it thinks #1 is a photo of a musical group.)

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The Desert Island Reaper

June 27, 2019

Today’s Rhymes With Orange, combining two familiar cartoon memes:


(#1) A compound, Desert Island + Grim Reaper

Also incorporating a joke formula, the Good News Bad News routine. The good news is verbalized in the cartoon, the bad news is implicit in the figure of the Grim Reaper.

As an extra, the boat that the Grim Reaper is steering towards the little island looks a lot like a gondola, so evoking Death in Venice and Charon the boatman of death, and possibly more indirectly, a Viking funeral boat with an animal-head prow.

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