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Ello over Vee Eee

Ello over Vee Eee

First published in The Guardian, 2 October 2014. Robert Indiana had been experimenting with different versions of his LO over VE “LOVE” design in paintings since 1958, but it was when the Museum of Modern Art in New York commissioned him to design a christmas card in 1965 that it began its global domination. It became [...]

Peking Duck

Peking Duck

First published in The Guardian, 22 August 2012.   I have done a couple of cartoons on Ai Weiwei and in neither is he depicted or mentioned. The Chinese government were no doubt hoping for something similar when they abducted and effectively disappeared him in 2011. For a number of years he had been using his [...]

Horatii – Like!

Horatii – Like!

First published in The Guardian, 17 September 2014   About 80 or 90 years after its founding in 753 BC (let’s say), Rome was at war with the neighbouring city Alba Longa, 12 miles to the southeast. With their armies lined up ready to fight, a conference was held between the two leaders. They decided [...]

A Futurist vision

A Futurist vision

First published in The Guardian, 3 September 2014.   Now this is the way to start an art movement. In February 1909 the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti published an eleven point plan in an Italian newspaper, which called for aggression, conflict and struggle, the praise of youth, speed and technology. This was the first [...]

Naive

Naive

First published in The Guardian, 20 August 2014   Naive Art, also known as Outsider or Primitive Art, is a label used to describe untrained, self-taught artists whose work is filled with awkward technical “deficiencies”. It seems weird but the most famous of these “naive” artists, Henri Rousseau, was championed by people like Picasso and [...]

Smarty Dali

Smarty Dali

First published in The Guardian, 6 August 2014.   Leons have been ponted and collapsed. Again. LMVQ!   Above is an ordinary statement, picked at random, from the future. Specifically 2039, twenty five years from now. I managed to get this because of my fairly rare ability to see forward in time. It’s kind of [...]

Lost phone

Lost phone

First published in The Guardian, 23 July, 2014.   I bet you didn’t realise that Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone is a sexually charged object. The crustacean’s tail, where its sexual parts are located, is placed directly over the mouthpiece. Ooooo. Lobsters held erotic overtones for Dali. This seems very weird, but it is not as [...]

Vanity of vanities! An exercise in banality.

Vanity of vanities! An exercise in banality.

First published in The Guardian, 9 July, 2014   It ends a bit gruesomely this one. Severed heads and limbs were just some of the studies Gericault painted in preparation for his masterpiece “The Raft of Medusa”. Andy Warhol made pictures of soup cans which also shocked people. I’m not squeamish though. I once opened [...]

Alain again – de Botton 2

Alain again – de Botton 2

First published in The Guardian, 25 June 2014.   I know, I know – fart jokes are an incredibly subtle form of humour and this one will have wafted over the heads of less perceptive readers. I have learnt my lesson and will dumb it down in future. I don’t want to spend my life [...]

Catchy Title

Catchy Title

First published in The Guardian, 11 June 2014 The Inquisition was a Catholic Church body with the purpose suppressing heresy. But did you know it still exists? Its current name is Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It was founded in 1229 to combat the Cathars, otherwise known as the Albigensians – a mass heretical [...]