Peter Duggan is me – an Australian living in London who draws cartoons on the artworld for the Guardian online.
At the age of six I came home from school with an amazing piece of news:
“Dad, Samson was the strongest man who ever lived!”
“No he wasn’t. Hercules was.” replies atheist Father:
Father proceeds to read aloud the exploits of Hercules from the encyclopaedia, interrupted periodically by the popping sound of a tiny brain exploding.
A long infatuation with Greek mythology followed, which over time morphed into another – the paintings illustrating the myths. I became intensely interested in art, eventually painting seriously. Unfortunately I also like to joke around a lot and my creative energies became split between painting and the writing and directing of short funny films. This split was unexpectedly resolved on the advice of some friends, who made the bizarre suggestion that I should draw a comic strip. I drew a few, on a subject I knew a bit about, sent them off and soon found myself with my own series in a major newspaper.
I really enjoy the process of constructing a joke. I really like writing ‘scripts’ that finish at the storyboard stage and don’t take a year to film. I really like that I can move on to a new idea quickly, and am overwhelmed by the comedic possibilities of an art historical cast. However I am gutted that my contribution to the history of fine art is a bunch of clutzily-drawn cartoons. The gods mock me.