Friday, February 24, 2012

Warhol & Dali

I made this comic strip about one of Warhol's interactions with Dali based on an account I read about. Some people say that without Dali, there wouldn't have been a Warhol -- kind of like Old Testament/New Testament. In one interview Andy was asked, "Did you know Dali claims to be a forerunner of pop art?" Andy's reply was, "Really? It's so hard to understand anything he says."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dali & Picasso

This is a comic about Dali and Picasso's first encounter. They had an on-again, off-again friendship. Dali would sometimes praise Picasso and sometimes denigrate him. I think he said whatever would get him press. Picasso admired his technical virtuosity, but said Dali was like an out-board motor -- always running.

Dali was always performing outrageous antics. Was he crazy? Or crazy like a fox. His actions always got attention and press. He was the most well-known of the surrealists and never had problem selling his work.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Matisse & Picasso: A Friendly Rivalry

This comic strip illustrates the rivalry between Matisse and Picasso. Later in life, they were more friendly about it -- treating one another with fondness.
With Demoiselles, Picasso had thrown down the gauntlet. Matisse responded with "Three Bathers and a Turtle". This was the beginning of a pattern of provocation and inspiration throughout their careers. The book "Mattise and Picasso" by Jack Flam explains this well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Renoir & Matisse

This comic strip illustrates an anecdote about young Matisse's visits to Renoir. Renoir battled severe rheumatoid arthritus and fought to overcome the disease so he could continue creating his masterpieces. Though at times he suffered greatly and the disease became crippling, he continued to persevere through his work. According to

Around 1898, if not before, Renoir suffered his first severe attack of rheumatoid arthritis. It was not long though before the rheumatoid arthritis became excruciatingly painful and gave him more trouble. In 1904, Renoir weighed only 105 pounds and was barely able to sit. By 1910 he could not even walk using crutches and became a prisoner in his wheelchair. His hands were completely deformed, like the claws of a bird. A gauze bandage was used to prevent his fingernails from growing into the flesh. Renoir was unable to pick up a paintbrush at this point and it had to be wedged between his fingers. He continued to paint everyday unless an attack of arthritis forced him to lie on his bed where a wire construction protected his body from being touched by his bedclothes.
There were episodes when Renoir was completely paralyzed. He would allow the attack to subside, then continue where he left off at his easel. It has been said that although Renoir was old, sick, and decrepit there was never any despair or weariness in his art. He never allowed it to be invaded by feelings of envy or anger towards those in good health. The hundreds of works he produced during the last few years of his life were an ode to happiness and joy.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cezanne & Van Gogh

In this comic strip, I've illustrated an anecdote related in a biography of Cezanne (Lost Earth by Phillip Callow).

Monday, February 6, 2012

Van Gogh's Ear: A Comic Strip

There are some historians who are questioning the story we've always been told about Van Gogh's ear. This article tells it much better than I can. I'm not sure I'm convinced, but the truth is -- we don't know exactly what happened that night. Gauguin was not beyond lying to further his position and there does seem to be a pattern for Van Gogh experiencing remorse after his "episodes" and a pattern for covering for others. I was inspired to draw the story this way after reading the article I linked to, but I also highly recommend the books "The Yellow House" by Martin Gayford and the new Van Gogh biography by Naifeh and Smith. The story of how he created images of such joy and consolation out of a life so tragic is amazing. All of this material helps us to sort out the facts from that dispute the romanticized tale spun by early biographers.