Artist

Yet another of Gordon’s golden words, this time he’s talking about artists…

I suspect that Mr. T is not a great fan of the abstract and having just visited an exhibition in London by a German artist who is almost exactly the same age as myself, I was want to think that his life cannot have been much fun. In contrast to mine which has, for the most part, been one of cheerfulness and chuckling to myself. Some cartoonists that I have had the pleasure to meet have not been a pleasure to meet, miserable people with a gloomy outlook. Others cannot be serious for just one minute! So just like everyone else really.The good, the bad and the bloody miserable.

There’s been a fashion lately for ‘public art’ where local councils and developers have a budget built into a project to accommodate public art. I love this idea though like anything to do with art it can be a bit of a risk, results vary from the really engaging pieces to the laughable. My drawing this week might just be a comment on that.

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Evolution has produced a more belligerent species, Conceptual Artist (Con Artist for short), whose young have pretty well eliminated Artist, the dignified predecessor, from natural habitats like boozers and brothels.

Although still distinguished from Con Artist by the ability to paint and draw, Artist has become shy, reclusive and largely nocturnal, and so is rather difficult to spot among all the other drunks, neurotics and sex maniacs.

Gone are the days when the least attentive naturalist could hardly fail to stumble across the telltale signs of Artist: paint, brushes, canvas, nude models, charcoal and empty beer crates. That has all disappeared because Artist’s only survival strategy, the talent for depiction, has become almost irrelevant.

As with so many other endangered animals, here we have a complete failure to adapt to changing circumstances. While Artist continues to attempt to emulate or surpass previous artistic achievements, Con Artist has realised that there is no point in trying to paint something better than, say, The Odalisque, when you can video a beautious naked female sitting on the toilet. This is doubly effective because, when you get tired of looking at the woman on the bog, you can record an episode of The Simpsons over the top of it.

Con Artist may have no obvious ability and may look like any other pasty-faced, body-piercing degenerate but the hypnotic call makes him/her more successful at grabbing whatever money there is knocking about.

Thus, Con Artist will easily persuade a squillionaire or a borough council to give a massive grant so a room can be filled with chicken noodle soup. Indeed, the hypnosis lasts so long that the same source will happily pay again next season for Con Artist’s Cabinet maker’s mother knits a dining table in purple and yellow wool.

The much less assertive Artist, pleading weakly for money to buy some paint to do a picture of Exmoor at sunset, will find there is nothing left in the kitty. Even if there were, Artist wouldn’t get any. After all, nobody has thought it worthwhile to knit a table before, whereas loads of Artist specimens have painted landscapes and thousands and thousands of people have pictures hanging in rooms which, more creatively, could be filled with soup.

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Gordon can be found at http://www.gordonthorburn.co.uk and you can find more of me at
http://www.pauldaviescartoons.co.uk

Thanks for dropping by, it’s odd but recently I have had a lot of visits to this site from Brazil. I’m at a loss to know why but thanks to all you Brazilians.

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