Kenojuak Ashevak RIP (October 3, 1927 – January 8, 2013)
FineLine: We’re loving the honest simplicity of these pieces by Inuit folk artist Kenojuak Ashevak. Seemingly borrowed from another time, her confident use of color and composition is really refreshing. These pieces are from her Birds series, courtesy of 50watts.
Ashevak passed this January at the age of 85. For more information about her read on:
“One of the best known and most acclaimed Inuit artists of the last 50 years, Kenojuak Ashevak, is being remembered by many across Canada this week…. Ashevak began contributing to the famed Cape Dorset print collections in 1959, and […] contributed to them every year since, right up until the fall 2012 release.”
MatthewNewton: A remix of Norman Rockwell’s famed triple self-portrait, which in this white supremacist-inspired iteration portrays the artist as a Klansman with a penchant for the Dixie flag, Hitler, and the unabashed patriotism of Steve Rogers. It’s unclear, however, whether the illustration, rendered by Mr. Fish, is a comment on Rockwell himself or the lily-white American idealism captured in the artist’s Saturday Evening Post canon. (Though I suppose the two are essentially one and the same.) Regardless, Andrew Hamilton, in his analysis of the original image, draws a convenient parallel:
[Rockwell] portrayed American whites—and reflected their idealized image of themselves in their twilight decades—as few other artists have before or since. His work, a brute force of nature, presses itself upon the viewer, demanding a response positive or negative. It is too intrusive, emotionally and visually, to be easily ignored.
The hurricane in New York left many galleries and artists with damaged or destroyed artwork. My piece Standing On The Moon was destroyed over at Marlborough Gallery. Decided to do a print of it to help Printed Matter who lost over $200,000 in inventory. Signed and numbered edition of 100 for $250. All profits go to Printed Matter. Go to Exhibition A and help out…it’s a great cause.
José Guadalupe Posada The Calavera of the Morbid Cholera 1910
PDR: A broadside showing a man with the body of a snake in the center of a group of skulls, representing the disease cholera, his arms are outstretched and tongue out, flying insects surround him. The skulls that surround him are depicted with worldy objects. The image is accompanied by a sarcastic and ironic ballad describing how cholera has afflicted the various social classes of Mexican society. Death kills everyone, regardless of the their place in society (1910)
AOTP: Jose Guadalupe Posada’s Calavera Catrina (Dapper Skeleton) was originally published as a broadside around 1910. This most fashionable calavera represents one of Jose Guadalupe Posada’s most famous works of art. Diego Rivera, in fact portrayed Posada with a full length figure of ‘Catrina’ in his 1947 Hotel del Prado mural.
“The Spanish word ‘calavera’ means ‘skull’, and by extension ‘skeleton’. Jose Guadalupe Posada used his ‘calavera’ prints as social reportage, as manifestos and as political and social satire; in this he has been followed by numerous later graphic artists in Mexico … This kind of print taps sources that are typically Mexican, for both the Indian heritage (skulls and death-goddesses are common in pre-Columbian art) and the Spanish heritage (the death-orientation of the monastic orders, and the dance-of-death and ‘memento mori traditions) have blended in the average Mexican’s stoic, but far from humorless, view of death.”
The 100 year anniversary of Posada’s death was three days ago. Check out more of his amazing work at the Library of Congress.
Hello from the Gutter: Wally Wood’s ‘Disneyland Orgy’
Wally Wood’s “Disneyland Orgy” poster, from the pages of The Realist, Paul Krassner’s famed underground magazine:
His Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster, illustrated by Wally Wood, was a highlight of the magazine, so successful that Krassner printed it as a poster that was widely pirated. The poster was recently upgraded by Krassner into a new, digitally-colored version. Other cartoonists featured in The Realist included Howard Shoemaker, Dick Guindon, Mort Gerberg, Bhob Stewart and Lou Myers.
According to this, Wood didn’t admit to drawing the poster until years later. Chances are, even for an iconoclast like Wood, tarnishing the image of The Mouse would have been career suicide, especially in the halcyon days of Walt Disney and company.