I’ve been fascinated with Robert Crumb’s illustrations and the off-center mind that created them for decades. I discovered Crumb’s work when I was about 16 years old.
In a barber shop in Wichita, Kansas waiting for a cut, I started looking through a “gent’s magazine” called Cavalier. (In those days, barber shop reading options were few and well worn: Popular Mechanics, Look, Boxing Illustrated, GUNsport, Sports Afield, Life, Parade, Man-to-Man—you get the idea—it was slim pickin’s for a gay teen living in the mid-west.)
Flipping through Cavalier, I was first stunned and then wooed by Crumb’s cartoon strip, Fritz the Cat.
For a cartoon cat, Fritz was wildly suggestive, a little nasty, and I felt wonderfully sleazy reading the captions.
Over the years, Crumb’s cast of rubes and corpulent yokels has made me uneasy—even as I laughed at them.
Enter the David Zwirner Gallery in New York and their current exhibition.
Drawing for Print: Mind Fucks, Kultur Klashes,
Pulp Fiction & Pulp Fact by the Illustrious R. Crumb
Running now through April 13, 2019.
From their press release:
“David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition organized by Robert Storr that examines the mind and career of R. Crumb. The exhibition will feature a wide array of printed matter culled from the artist’s archive: tear sheets of drawings and comics, taken directly from the publications where the works first appeared, as well as related ephemera. These often fragile works on paper will be installed across the walls of the gallery’s 519 West 19th Street space in New York. Further illuminating Crumb’s practice, the show will also feature a selection of rare sketchbooks and original drawings by the artist.” [Read the entire release.]
There’s a nice visual overview of the exhibit on David Zwirner’s website. Now then, back to some Crumb fun with MEATBALL.
Whatever you do, keep on truckin’…