December 17, 2017
Art, politics, angels, demons . . . and righteous dogs.

The Rooftops of Lisbon

street-sign1World Press Cartoon Week in Lisbon was amazing. The judging went on for three days and I got to be there along with four wonderful artists.


Great Cuban cartoonist Aristides “Ares” Hernandez by me. He had been a psychiatrist in Havana but realized that he could do better as a freelance cartoonist sending his work overseas. Incredible, right? It seems that not all pesos are equal in Cuba.

Work by Ares.
Me by Ares.
Sophie-Anne Delhomme, art director of Courrier International, Paris (a great source and patron of international toons. She is also Mrs. Jean-Philippe Delhomme, the artist, animator and novelist. Perhaps we will see them in NY sometime soon.).

Adam Korpak, brilliant artist (and raconteur), from Finland.
work-by-adamA piece by Adam.
Antonio Antunes, Portugese caricaturist and one of the best. Also co-founder of the show. By me.
antonio-headPiece by Antonio. Very witty daughtsman as well as sculptor. In the great tradition on Pinhiero, about whom more later.
Me by Antonio.

rui1Rui Paulo da Cruz, journalist and co-founder of the Contest. I assure him and you that this looks nothing like him.

sintra-500The judging was held in the fairyland town of Sintra. Seemingly untouched by the last two centuries, it is a breathtaking collection of valleys, hills, castles and palaces. Photo by Cynthia Rose.
And here we all are having a pleasant chat about the art. Good toons got in the show but not without discussion. Ares kept things calm (lucky we had a resident shrink). From a photo by Rui.
rooftops-of-lisbon1Lisbon has beautiful art and IS beautiful. The rooftops, all terracotta, create gorgeous patterns that you can see from any of its 7 hills. This one overlooks the River Tagus. There are three sites where 1930’s vintage funiculars that can take you up.
The sidewalks, all of them, are actual mosaics, painstakingly kept up. A level of care that is very foreign to New Yorkers. Sophie-Anne and Cynthia Rose seen on the street.
Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (21 March 1846 – 23 January 1905) is the patron saint of Portugese cartoonists. Also of the whole ceramic industry!
pinherp-pigA beautiful museum devoted to his work contains prints, like this wonderful pig.
john-bull-potAnd his ceramics, like this John Bull chamber pot. Something perhaps only a caricaturist would find sublime.

Dining was a big part of the week. Good restaurants and interesting people, like the mayor of Sintra who joined us one day.
mayor500 This is what happens when I see a pol.

The last night we gathered at the Chinese Pavilion, a pub overstuffed with collected figurines, toys, photos and illustrations; sometimes with a theme, sometimes just kitsch for its own sake. It is all meaningless and grand. It must be seen! It is also a great bar, with very cold beer, served by Miguel.
Here’s the group saying farewell at last. They all have standing invitations here for drinks at the SI bar and to meet our American gang. Very grateful to World Press Cartoon and the great folks of Portugal for an unforgettable week and what will be a great show of caricature and cartoon, opening in April. Photo by Antonio.

What’s a Jindal?

jindalA hilarious hand-held debuting last night.  Press the button and it downloads great lines like: “Today in Washington, some are promising that government will rescue us from the economic storms raging all around us. Those of us who lived through Hurricane Katrina — we have our doubts.”
This GOP front-runner promises to be our Shirley Temple: Recession Era fun for the whole family.

Crisis Club: Robert Stanford

robert-stanford500The owner of Antigua and the Stanford International Bank, pig heaven for offshore deposits from clients seeking a safe tax haven (seen here with his cricket team.) The government of Antigua was more than happy to have this rich Texan move in and take over their failing bank.  Now he’s the lord of St. John’s with zero accountability   He hasn’t been charged yet but the SEC can’t find the $8 Billion in assets he says he has. When the US government started pushing legislation for accountability in offshore banks Stanford hired a lobbying firm in DC and began donating hundred of thousands to Democrats and Republicans.  For some strange reason investigations by the SEC have been stalled over the years!  He’s given over $2.4 million to Federal candidates since 2000.  These include Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL $45,900 and Rep. Pete Sessions, R-TX $41,375 (plus $10,000 in expenses).  Now Antigua is falling on hard times and the spotlight is falling at last on Bobby.  Smile. From photo by Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse.


Here’s an Oscar-driven free association.  Done before the whole chimp thing, it’s an Obama animal I felt was about right.  My only defense.

Headless Chimp Found in Soul-less Rag

Today’s battle about the inane NY Post page Six toon comparing Obama to the dead chimp is joined. Justified calls of condemnation are pouring in.  The Post cartoonist, clearly a hack, either followed a bizarrely racist, brain dead, or both editorial line or came by this all by himself.  It is a piece of dreck any way you slice it.
How should we in the graphic arts community respond?   The best possible way is to resist censorship but DRAW. Here’s my response: the true dead chimp, Editor in Chimp, er, Chief, Col Allen. The only response to freedom of speech . . . is MORE OF IT.