Wednesday, February 20, 2013

At the end the score is tied

Below are a few last images from my stay in Paris. In addition to a few museums I visited the Cimetiere Pere Lachaise. It's famous because Jim Morrison was buried there, but it houses a few French people, too. There's a map to greet you when you come in with a bunch of famous people's names. I wrote down coordinates for Delecroix, Daumier and Oscar Wilde, but ended up just wandering around aimlessly instead of hunting them down. I mean, if you want to pay your respects to Delacroix, go to the Louvre, right?
Walking around a cemetery this grand inevitably becomes a meditation on the art of death. In a way it actually is like walking around the Louvre. It's a catalog of a certain kind of artmaking and of French history. One thing that struck me were the few tombs (examples above and below) that made use, intentionally or not, of live plants. As a commentary on the power of death, it seemed strongest when the plants outgrew their confines and obscured the graves themselves. Life is not so easily corralled.

Same goes for little plastic dogs.

This burst of color, below, attracted my eye, but the flowers are, of course, plastic. Which seemed unintentionally ironic and even more sad, symbolically speaking, than the gray stone and moss that surrounded them. They do look nice, though.
This little guy meowed at me but wouldn't stop for a better picture. Maybe he was on his way to pick up a baguette. Or looking for his buddy's lost sword.
Below: a variety of containers for discarded materials of all sorts.
The monument below stopped me in my tracks. I even stood and did a little drawing of it, until my fingers froze. The deceased, rendered up top, apparently felt important enough that he needed a woman, symbolic of the French Nation presumably, to gaze admiringly up at his name for all eternity. Not at his face, at his name. From my perspective in the 21st century it looked absurd, but also... weirdly effective. He looks good up there. I kind of wanted to take up arms in defense of the French Nation myself. It peaked my curiosity enough to look him up later. And actually he seems like a pretty cool guy. So, deceptively pompous 19th century French statesman: 1, obscure 21st century American cartoonist: 0.

Help. Some ruffians. They took my sword. They went thataway.

See? The score is tied, now.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Genevieve Castree on tour

If I was in Chicago I would go to this at Quimby's tomorrow night (or any of these other places and times, like tonight in L.A.).


I drew this for a little group show (with Marc Bell and Taylor McKimens) at Purdue University a few weeks back.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

La Musee de la Chasse

The third day in Paris, Eglantine from Le Monte en L'air showed me around the city a bit including taking me to see La Musee de la Chasse (the Museum of Hunting). It was like walking into another world.

I particularly noted this image, below, of trained eagles that have just taken down a wolf. A year or so ago someone sent me a link to this video of the same phenomenon demonstrated in Mongolia (it's harrowing). Note, in particular the artwork depicted in the intro. So apparently it's a widespread, ancient practice.

Carved bone. A lot of the imagery carved into handles and gun butts was decidedly pagan.