My Dubious Cubism

"The only thing I regret in my life is never having made comics."
—Pablo Picasso (according to an unsourced quote found online)

Assuming that the foregoing Picasso quote is legit, I feel reassured that the master cubist would not have minded the liberties I’ve taken in building the cartoony image above, which is my riff on one of his paintings and which was my reponse to an invitation to create promotional art for this year’s edition of North Adams Open Studios.

At right: my inspiration for the Open Studios promo image
I’d love to cite the original painting’s title and date of creation here, but no such info was anywhere to be seen on the web page where I found it. Maybe one of you Picasso buffs out there will help me fill in those blanks. [NOTE: And as swiftly as any earnest blogger could wish, Ed Carson, one of our Open Studios artists, has informed me that Picasso called the 1935 painting in question La Muse.]

Anyway, I think you’ll see why the painting above struck me as the perfect springboard for a cartoon by yours truly that would be promoting a 21st Century celebration of North Adams artists. For one thing, it depicts an artist in the act of creation. How appropriate is that for advertising a citywide art show? Also, the sheer prescience manifested by the Spanish genius (who died 34 years ago) in showing an artist who’s watching a giant flat-screen TV while drawing even though such electronic wonders had not yet been invented when he created the painting fairly takes my breath away! (Admittedly, whatever show is airing must be less than riveting, since it seems to be making the artist’s companion doze off.)

But to leave speculations about Picasso’s technological clairvoyance aside, you can probably tell that I’ve incorporated into my own cubist-lite ‘toonery a patchwork of snippets from the works of several of the dozens of local artists who’ll be taking part in Open Studios this fall (October 13 and 14, to be specific). If you want to see work by the artists whose art I snipped in more dignified contexts, check out the links to their portfolios and web pages below.

North Adams artists included within my drawing, all of whom will be showing their stuff during the North Adams Open Studios weekend, are: Borkowski; Ed Carson; Sharon Carson; me; Martha Flood; FocoLoco; Karen Kane; Joan Kiley; Cynthia Lewis, Melissa McGorty; Danny O, Debi Pendell, J. Richards, Jr.; River Hill Pottery; Susan Rose; Robert Schechter; Norm Thomas; and Thor Wickstrom. Five galleries (MCLA Gallery 51; Brill Gallery; Eclipse Mill Gallery; Kolok Gallery; Northern Berkshire Creative Arts) will be hosting group shows in addition to the downtown spaces being converted into temporary venues for the weekend.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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5 Responses to My Dubious Cubism

  1. Pingback: Loose Cruse: The Blog » Blog Archive » Posters and Fliers and Site Maps — Oh, My!

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  5. wow! says:

    I love this entry. It is like my own private art gallery.
    I have been keeping up with your site, since Chris and I were out there, (2 years ago???!!!)
    I just don’t comment. Sorry we’re so bad at keeping in touch.
    But your blog is my favorite site, so much to look at.
    Thanks!
    Sue G.