One of my childhood heroes was Thomas Nast, whose elaborate, allegorical, political cartoons stimulated my imagination and rewarded prolonged reflection. Despite his elaborately staged and clearly labeled figures, the invention in his fabulist imagery left so much to the imagination.
Nast’s “The American Ganges (The Priests and The Children),” first published on September 30, 1871, depicted Irish Roman Catholic Bishops as crocodiles in an amphibious assault on multi-ethnic children trapped on a beach. Nast’s criticism was of the strongly pro-Papist ultramontane leadership, who sought public funding for sectarian schools. The drawing was published again four years later with slight alterations (changing the label on a basilica-like building from “Tammany Hall” to “Political Roman Catholic Church”) to enhance its topicality. The central image, I would argue, is just as germane today — to illustrate the scandals of clerical pedophilia and other corruptions of power.
Leaking, draining, filling the holes, and emptying the basin are political metaphors that have been sloshing around of late. While “Swamp Accommodations VI,” an ink wash drawing from the ongoing cycle DRAIN, was made earlier this year, the flurry of feuds and churning morass in the Trump administration unfortunately make its relevance perpetually current. In the language of ink, incompetent statecraft’s stream of lies is sooty water, awaiting sewage treatment.
This week, another reason to leave Facebook, who really invented democracy, and what is “Skimpflation”?
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Pope.L, Beatriz Cortez, Mika Rottenberg, and more.
International audiences have free access to the media collections of MMCA Korea, Sharjah Art Foundation, and ArkDes through this subscription-based art streaming platform.
The acclaimed composer and noise artist talks to Hyperallergic about his Pulitzer Prize-winning composition “Voiceless Mass.”
Her works, depicting objects from Korean markets, invite viewers to marvel at what can be achieved with fabric.
Convened by Erika Sprey, Lamin Fofana, Sky Hopinka, Emmy Catedral, and Manuela Moscoso, the public program unfolds this summer at CARA in New York City.
Salonen’s paintings point to a location in which reality is slippery, ill-defined — a dream or place of play.
The Ancient Egyptian tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, one of the most intricate in the Saqqara necropolis, shows the pair holding hands and embracing.
The Bay Area art book fair is back this July with free programming at three different on-site venues, new exhibitors, and fundraising editions from renowned artists.
In another action yesterday, five members of the group were arrested after they glued themselves to a landscape painting in Scotland.
The New Museum, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance also received capital allocations in a “historic” round of funding from the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including Lee Lozano, Cindy Sherman, Tokuko Ushioda, Anas Albraehe, and more.