Friday, December 7, 2012

Political Cartoons on Campus


Yes, the semester is nearing its end, but there is still plenty to do on campus for students and their families alike. Since October 1, we have been fortunate enough to have an exhibition showcasing classic and contemporary editorial cartoons.  The collection, entitled "Political Slant: Editorial Cartoons," includes examples of five contemporary artists--including current Newsday contributor, Walt Handelsman--as well as several woodcuts from 19th-century master, Thomas Nast. The exhibit includes early draft sketches as well as examples of fully-finished digital prints from the contemporary cartoonists.

Walt Handelsman (American, born 1956)
Economic Indicators, 2012
Digital print, 10 5/8 x 16 1/2 in.
© Walt Handelsman, Newsday, 2012



Each cartoonist uses caricature and symbolism to push forward their editorial opinions. Some of these images are so affecting, that they become part of our national iconography: Nast, for example, was the first to portray the Democratic and Republican Parties as a donkey and elephant, respectively. Far removed from Nast's stark detail, the five cartoonists on display convey their messages through vibrancy of color and more cartoonish styles of drawing. The one constant, however, is humor, and through their work, each cartoonist brings their own sense of humor to the fore. Whether it's Mike Keefe's broken escalator of upward mobility, or Walt Handelsman's frumpy museum-goers bemusedly observing a post-modern painting of 2012's economic indicators, you cannot help but enjoy their ability to underscore the absurdity of current events.

Mike Keefe (American, born 1946)
Upward Mobility, 2011
Digital print, 7 5/8 x 12 in.
Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition will be up in the David Filderman Gallery (ninth floor of the Axinn Library) until December 21, so if you decide to surprise your student with a late semester visit or even as your helping to pack everything up for the holidays, you can stop by and enjoy a good laugh courtesy of some quality cartoons.

Steve Kelley (American, born 1959)
Homework Supercommittee, 2011
Digital print, 10 ¼ x 16 in.
Courtesy of the artist
 




23 comments:

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