Modern art cartoon – Marcel Duchamp taking the pissoir

modern art cartoon - marcel duchamp taking the pissoir

Dadaism cartoon. Marcel Duchamp Fountain – is Duchamp taking the pissoir

Cartoon about artist Marcel Duchamp’s Dadaist artwork The Fountain.
The Fountain is a urinal from a gents’ toilet, or in French a pissoir.
The cartoon shows Duchamp removing a pissoir from a toilet in order to turn it into an artwork simply by declaring that it is a work art.
The joke in the cartoon is – is Duchamp taking the piss? Is he making a joke at the expense of the artist establishment?

Marcel Duchamp is best known through his use of “ready mades” A ready made is a mundane everyday object that is elevated to the status of art by virtue of being removed from its quotidian environment and placed in an art gallery.
Duchamp was a member of the Dadaist art movement. Dada was an offshoot of surrealism. Surrealist art ad Dada both flourished in the mid twentieth century.
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Art Cartoons – express personality through painting

Art cartoons - explore your dark side in painting

Art cartoon: expression of personality through art

Cartoon about using art to explore and analyse personality.
The person in the cartoon is creating a painting as a way to explore an aspect of her personality.
She is trying to create an image from the darker side of her personality.
The joke in the cartoon is that she has painted a cuddly kitten or cat.
She seems to be incapable of thinking bad thoughts – is this because she’s a very conventional and conservative person who has a limited imagination (or an imagination that’s never been allowed to express itself and develop), or maybe she’s in denial about the darker side of her personality.

Cartoon about art therapy, artistic expression, Sunday painters, art evening classes, adult education, artistic temperament.
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Cartoon – describing visual art in words can obscure the art’s meaning and impact

cartoon - descriptive words in speech balloon obscuring visual artwork

Art criticism and art appreciation cartoon. A cartoon about the limitations and drawbacks of artistic analysis.

Art cartoon about drawbacks of art criticism.
The cartoon is illustrating the way that verbal analysis of nonverbal media can obscure the meaning of the work due to the limitations of verbal analysis. Verbalisation is inadequate at expressing some nonverbal sensations, reactions, emotions etc that are conveyed in the visual (and other nonverbal) arts.

Cartoon showing two people in an art gallery looking at a painting. One is talking about art and the speech balloon containing the words that he is saying is obscuring the art, getting between the art and the viewer. He is saying “Sometimes describing art in words only serves to obscure the work.”
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Art education cartoon. What makes something a work of art?

cartoon - what is art and what makes art valid?

Art education cartoon. A cartoon about the pretensions of the contemporary art and the art establishment (as expressed by a lecturer in an art college).

Cartoon about posturing and pretension in the contemporary art establishment.
What is art?

Cartoon showing a lecturer in an art college teaching a student.
The caption of the cartoon reads:
“No, no, Deborah… to be artistically valid you must
work from a position of deep understanding of art’s role
in questioning the aesthetic and intellectual norms of the
prevailing cultural zeitgeist – not just go off with some
crazy idea of your own!”
Cartoon depicting artistic justification and rationalisation, artistic validation and criticism, artistic elitism, art appreciation, art history, art movements.
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Art criticism cartoon. “Don’t judge art unless you know who the artist is”

don't judge art unless you know who the artist is - cartoon

Art cartoon. Don’t judge art until you know who it’s by

Art appreciation cartoon. Should you know who created a work of art before you judge it?

Cartoon showing a man in an art gallery looking at a painting.
He’s reading the label to see who the painting was painted by before deciding what to think about it.
A cartoon illustrating points about art appreciation, art history, what is a masterpiece, how to judge art, artistic expression, modern art, art education.
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Damien Hirst shark cartoon – it’s a very big fish for such a shallow idea

Damien Hirst shark cartoon - it's a very big fish for such a shallow idea

Contemporary art cartoon. Cartoon about Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde, titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”

Cartoon about Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde.

Damien Hirst has a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Madern, starting in April 2012
His shark was exhibited at the Sensations exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London.
Damien Hirst was a member of the YBAs or Young British Artists.
The cartoon is a dig at the pretension and posturing of some contemporary art (Just look at the preposterous title of Hirst’s piece – “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”. Maybe it’s meant to be a joke title).
The cartoon is also a criticism of the undue respect in which some contemporary art is held – hence the caption “It’s a very big fish for such a shallow idea.”
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Damien Hirst cartoon – Hirst becomes a big fish because of his shark

Damien Hirst cartoon - Hirst becomes a big fish because of his shark

Damien Hirst cartoon – the shark that turned Damien Hirst into a big fish.

Damien Hirst shark in formaldehyde cartoon.

The caption of this cartoon reads:
“This is the breakthrough work that turned Damien Hirst into a big fish.”

The cartoon was drawn in anticipation of Damien Hirst’s retrospective exhibition at London’s Tate Modern art gallery, 2012.
Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde is titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”
A cartoon about contemporary art, the YBAs or Young British Artists.

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Damien Hirst exhibition cartoon – vegetarian art gallery visitor

Damien Hirst exhibition cartoon - vegetarian visitor

Damien Hirst cartoon. Can a vegetarian visit a Damien Hirst exhibition?

Cartoon about the Damien Hirst exhibition at Tate Modern, London, 2012.

The caption of this cartoon reads:
“I’m not going in there – I’m a vegetarian.”
The joke in this cartoon is based on the fact that Damien Hirst’s work includes a lot of (real) dead animals, usually placed in glass cases (or vitrines as they are called in arty circles) and often preserved in formaldehyde.
Hirst’s most famous work is a shark in formaldehyde. He has also used sheep and cows, some of them cut in half or into sections.

Hirst was a member of the YBAs or Young British Artists. Perhaps now he’s a member of the MABAs, or Middle Aged British Artists.

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Damien Hirst shark cartoon – bigger fish eating smaller fish as metaphor

Damien Hirst shark cartoon - bigger fish eating smaller fish as metaphor

Cartoon about contemporary art, featuring a work based on Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde.

This cartoon is based on Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde.
It shows a vitrine containing three fish in a row, with each of the larger fish about to devour the smaller fish.

The cartoon’s caption reads:
“Yes, maybe it is a metaphor – for the way that art feeds on itself within a self-referential and closed cultural ecosystem.”
The cartoon is a comment on the narrowness and self justification of the contemporary art world.
Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde was exhibited at the Sensations exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London and in a retrospective at Tate Modern in 2012.
Hirst was a member of the YBAs or Young British Artists. Perhaps now he’s a member of the MABAs, or Middle Aged British Artists.
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Damien Hirst cartoon – Hirst becomes a big fish in British contemporary art by using a shark

Damien Hirst cartoon - British contemporary art

Damien Hirst cartoon.
Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde, titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”

A cartoon commenting on Damien Hirst as a ‘big fish’ in the contemporary art world

The cartoon uses Damien Hirst’s iconic shark in a tank to criticise aspects of the contemporary art world.
The caption of the cartoon is “I see it as Damien Hirst’s way of saying that he’s a very big fish in the very small fishtank that is the contemporary art world. It’s also saying that contemporary art is trapped in suspended animation in the confined space of its own limited self-definition and that it’s doomed to go nowhere.”
His shark was exhibited at the Sensations exhibition at the Royal Academy of Art, London.
Damien Hirst was a member of the Young British Artists or YBAs.
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Cartoon. Damien Hirst – shark in formaldehyde

Damien Hirst shark cartoon - big fish for shallow idea

Damien Hirst cartoon. Cartoon critique of Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde, titled “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”

Damien Hirst cartoon. Cartoon about Damien Hirst’s shark in formaldehyde.

Damien Hirst has a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Madern, starting in April 2012
Damien Hirst was a member of the YBAs or Young British Artists.
The cartoon is a criticism of the pretentiousness of some contemporary art (Just look at the preposterous title of Hirst’s piece – “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”. Maybe it’s meant to be funny) and of the undue respect in which some of it is held. Hence the caption “It’s a very big fish for such a shallow idea.”
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Pablo Picasso cartoon. Picasso painting a cubist portrait

picasso-cubist-painting-makes-sitter-famous

Picasso Cartoon. Picasso painting a cubist portrait.

Picasso Cartoon. Picasso speaking to the sitter for a cubist portrait.
He is telling her that when he has painter her she will become so famous that she won’t be able to walk down the street without being recognised.

The joke in the cartoon is that the person represented in the cubist painting is unrecognisable.
A cartoon about modern art, Pablo Picasso, cubism, celebrity, fame, recognition.
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Drawing by hand – a hand drawing using a finger as a pencil

finger as pencil cartoon

An illustration showing a hand on which one of the fingers is a pencil, which is drawing a picture.

Cartoon-like drawing showing a hand with a finger that’s a pencil, drawing a picture.

This bizarre or weird drawing looks a bit like a David Shrigley drawing or cartoon. However, it’s by me.
David Shrigley drawings are very popular in some sections of the art world right now, and are admired for their weirdness and humour. Exactly how weird or humorous David Shrigley’s cartoons are is a subject of some debate. My own feeling is that they are a bit weird and a bit humorous, but not as much as they are made out to be.
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Modern art cartoon – a street map to the Mondrian museum

Cartoon - Mondrian art as street map to Mondrian museum

Art cartoon – a street map to the Mondrian museum in the form of a Mondrian painting.

Mondrian cartoon – a street map locating the Mondrian museum – in the form of a Mondrian painting.

A cartoon illustrating the way that Piet Mondrian’s art has infiltrated its way into everyday design, such as graphic design and architecture. Mondrian’s influence on contemporary design.

Piet Mondrian was a member of the De Stijl art movement, which had quite rigid ideas about what constituted suitable art within the group (as symbolised by Mondrian’s rigid grid layouts). If I remember correctly one member of the group was ejected because he painted his grids diagonally rather than horizontally and vertically.

This cartoon featured in an exhibition in the Cob Gallery, London, titled Pastiche, Parody and Piracy (June/July 2014).

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Cartoon. Bucolic genre paintings – old and modern compared

Cartoon - bucolic genre art isn't what it was

Art cartoon: an old painting of the countryside and a modern painting of the countryside. The old painting shows a bustling farm scene. The new painting shows a huge boring field.

Bucolic genre painting cartoon, showing an old view of industrious farm workers and a modern painting featuring a vast empty field containing nothing but a combine harvester.

A cartoon illustrating the way that farm work and the countryside have changed over the years.
The cartoon also questions whether the assumption that because the old rural scene is more picturesque than the more inhuman modern scene it was necessarily better. The viewer in the cartoon seems to think it was, but is he correct?
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Lichtenstein parody cartoon – turning comic book images into art

lichtenstein parody - comic images into art

Cartoon: Roy Lichtenstein parody – turning comic book images into art.

Cartoon/illustration: Roy Lichtenstein parody – turning comic book images into art.

A cartoon illustrating the way that pop artist Roy Lichtenstein copied or plagiarised images from cheap comic books – and through the act of transferring them to canvas transformed them, in the eyes of the art world, into fine art.
Does such work count as plagiarism, copyright infringement and copyright violation?
The creators of the original comic book art get no credit or mention as creators of the work.
They are anonymous, while Roy Lichtenstein gets all of the credit (and money!).
A cartoon that questions what is art,
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David Hockney cartoon. Hockney trees through the seasons paintings (and smoking cigarettes)

David Hockney serial landscapes through the seasons

A cartoon about David Hockney and his landscape paintings of the East Yorkshire wolds.

Cartoon. Since his move to Bridlington artist David Hockney has been painting in the East Yorkshire wolds, studying and capturing the changing light and colour through the seasons.
His paintings are to be displayed in a major exhibition of his work, The Bigger Picture, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, between January and April 2012.
The exhibition includes Hockney’s recent experiments in digital painting on an iPad.
The cartoon shows a series of David Hockney paintings of the same group of trees at different times of the year, spring, summer, autumn, winter, with the differing light and the different appearance of the trees. The final painting shows the trees burnt down due to a fire caused by a discarded cigarette end.
David Hockney is famous for his commitment to the freedom to smoke cigarettes.
The joke is that one day his enthusiastic smoking habit may have a down side (although Hockney would argue that that’s his business, not yours).

A cartoon about David Hockney, cigarettes, smoking bans, freedom to smoke, fag ends, cigarette butts.
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David Hockney cartoon. East Yorkshire renamed ‘David Hockney country’

cartoon - east yorkshire renamed david hockney land

A cartoon about David Hockney and his landscape paintings of the East Yorkshire wolds.

Cartoon. Artist David Hockney’s paintings of the East Yorkshire wolds since his move to Bridlington are amongst his most popular images.
The cartoon shows the East Yorkshire wolds renamed David Hockney country – a common marketing or branding strategy employed by parts of Britain that can be associated with famous artists or writers (Robin Hood country, James Herriot country and Bronte country are other examples).

A cartoon about David Hockney, tourism, tourist branding, popular art, regional identity.
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David Hockney cartoon. David Hockney iPad arts cartoon

david hockney paintings ipad app

A cartoon about painting on an iPad, as popularised by David Hockney.

Cartoon. David Hockney iPad art.
Artist David Hockney’s recent work has involved painting directly onto an iPad.
It won’t be long before a special ‘David Hockney’ app will be available to let other people convert their photographs into David Hockney style images.
David Hockney’s iPad paintings (and other works) are on show in a major exhibition of his work, A Bigger Picture, at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, January – April 2012.

A cartoon about iPads, apps, digital painting, David Hockney, digital image filters, popular art, iPad art, iPad painting app.
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Cartoon. The complete works of Vermeer and Picasso compared

picasso and vermeer complete works books

Cartoon.The complete works of Johannes Vermeer and Pablo Picasso compared.

The cartoon shows a book that contains the complete works of Picasso and a book that contains the complete works of Vermeer.

Picasso was very prolific as an artist, producing thousands of works of art, while Vermeer only produced a handful of paintings in his lifetime.
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Roy Lichtenstein cartoon parody on the search for meaning to life

roy lichtenstein cartoon

A cartoon parody of a Roy Lichtenstein painting.

Roy Lichtenstein’s art lends itself very well to parody and spoof in cartoons, not least because the paintings themselves are often almost direct copies of images lifted from the pages of comic books.

A Roy Lichtenstein style parody illustration on the subject of the meaning of life, the search for meaning, philosophy, existentialism, existentialist angst, what’s the meaning of life?.
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Baroque art cartoon – looking at a book of Tiepolo ceiling paintings

Cartoon. Looking at a book of Tiepolo ceiling paintings

Baroque cartoon
Ceiling painting cartoon
Tiepolo cartoon

Looking at a book of Tiepolo ceiling paintings by lying on back.
Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696 – 1770) was a Venetian baroque painter who was famous for his paintings on ceilings, and for his frescoes

A cartoon about different ways of looking at art or at things in general. Italian art, artists from Venice, studying art, art books, art appreciation

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Modern Art Cartoon. Tracey Emin unmade and Marcel Duchamp readymade

Cartoon. Tracey Emin bed and Duchamp ready-made

Modern Art Cartoon
Contemporary Art Cartoon
Tracey Emin, My Bed, compared to Marcel Duchamp, Fountain (unmade bed, ready-made artwork)

Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (a urinal) was termed a ‘readymade’ by Duchamp.
Tracey Emin’s bed may be termed an ‘unmade” or a “ready unmade” – because it’s an unmade bed

A cartoon about controversial art, YBAs, Young British Artists, dada, dadaism

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Johannes Vermeer cartoon

Johannes Vermeer cartoon

Cartoon showing Johannes Vermeer at work painting, and bemoaning the fact that he has to accurately reproduce all of the squares on the floor. He is painting The Glass of Wine.

A pastiche depicting two Vermeer paintings – the Glass of Wine and the Art of Painting that are typical of the Dutch genre paintings of highly detailed and finished paintings of interiors.

A cartoon showing the humdrum nature and slog behind the effort that frequently goes into the creative process.

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Cartoon: Leonardo da Vinci, the Last Supper, and contemporary interior design

Cartoon showing Leonardo da Vinci Last Super painted over for new minimalist look

Cartoon showing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural the Last Supper being painted over with white paint to create a new minimalist look to the chapel walls

Cartoon showing Leonardo da Vinci’s mural The Last Supper (on the walls of the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan) being painted over with white paint to give the church a contemporary modern minimalist look.

A cartoon that illustrates the tendency for modern fashionable trends (in interior design and elsewhere) to be seen as superior to previous ones – at least temporarily. The trends may be regretted later.

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Gilbert and George merchandise – the Gilbert and George salt and pepper set

Gilbert and George cartoon merchandise

An image in the style of Gilbert and George, showing Gilbert and George as a salt and pepper set.

A pastiche of the art of Gilbert and George illustrating the merchandising of art and of celebrity culture. I’m not saying that Gilbert and George are particularly prone to being merchandised – it’s just that the two of them make such a good salt and pepper cruet set that it seems a shame that such a thing doesn’t exist. Part of the humour of this concept lies in the fact that hardly anyone can remember which one is Gilbert and which one is George.
It’s also a comment about the superficiality of contemporary society and the trivialisation of culture.

An illustration about the consumer society, merchandising, celebrity artists, contemporary art.

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Museum cartoon: an exhibition of vending machine cups

museum exhibition of drinking vessels - from fifteenth century to plastic vending machine cups

Cartoon of a museum exhibition of drinking vessels

The vessels from the fifteenth century are crafted with care.
The vessels from the twenty-first century are plastic vending machine cups.
Of course only privileged people had access to the fine products of earlier centuries, so this cartoon also says something about the benefits of cheap mass production

An illustration of the throw-away consumerism of contemporary society, the consumer society, mass production, plastics

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Contemporary art cartoon. The Art of Repulsion

Cartoon showing contemporary sculpture in an art galley. The sculpture called Bogey Man is made from human bogeys

Cartoon showing a contemporary sculpture in an art galley

The scuplture is in the modern genre of repulsive art. The sculpture is called “Bogey Man” and is made from human bogeys.
Cartoon illustrating the type of contemporary art that aims to shock and revolt. A comment on the type of artwork that is made of substances such as human bodily fluids and excrement – feces, faeces, or fæces, shit, urine and such-like.
To some extent it’s about the superficial masquerading as the profound, which is true of a fair amount of contemporay art (though by no means all, as I’m a fan of the stuff myself).

An illustration about contemporary art, modern sculpture, unusual art materials, repulsion, charlatanism, decadence.

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Antony Gormley sculpture – cartoon

Cartoon showing visitors to an Antony Gormley exhibition. A Gormley sculpture is holding a placard directing people to the exhibition

Antony Gormley cartoon

Cartoon showing visitors to an Antony Gormley exhibition. A Gormley sculpture is holding a placard directing people to the exhibition

An illustration about contemporary art, public sculpture, art exhibitions, celebrity artists

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Antony Gormley cartoon. The psychology of the self portrait in art

Antony Gormley cartoon - psychology of the self portrait in art

Antony Gormley cartoon
The psychology behind Gormley body casts

A woman looking at one of Antony Gormley’s endless body casts of his naked body. She is saying ” He’s certainly showing off the size of his ego.”

Antony Gormley is famous for his sculptures of the human body.
Most of his sculpture is in the form of body casts of his own body.
The cartoon is about the motivation and psychology behind producing endless representations of oneself in artistic form
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Modern or contemporary art cartoon. Tracey Emin: My Bed (Unmade). Marcell Duchamp: Fountain (Readymade)

Tracey Emin: My Bed. Marcell Duchamp: Fountain

Modern art cartoon
Contemporary art cartoon
Tracey Emin: My Bed (Unmade), compared to Marcell Duchamp: Fountain (Readymade or Ready Umade)

Key moments in the history of modern art.
Marcell Duchamp was associated with the Dada and Surrealist art movements in modern art.
Tracey Emin was associated with the art group known as the Young British Artists (or YBAs), who were patronised by Charles Saatchi

The cartoon plays on the dadaist principle of taking mundane everyday objects and labelling them as “art”.
The joke is that Duchamp called his works “ready mades”, while Tracey Emin’s bed is definitely “unmade”
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Modern art cartoon: Pablo Picasso scuplture

Pablo Picasso cartoon. sculpture: Tete du Femme

Pablo Picasso cartoon
Abstract art cartoon

Pablo Picasso creating a sculpture of a woman’s head (Tete du Femme), while saying to the woman that the work will make her so famous that soon everyone in the world will recognise her when she walks down the street. The typically Picassoesque sculpture is so abstract that the person it is modelled on is unrecognisable in the work

A cartoon about modern art, cubism, cubist art, abstract art, portraiture, portrait art, artist’s muse, model

.
Another version of this cartoon is available:
Pablo Picasso cartoon

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Surrealism cartoon. Man Ray: Cadeau being used to attack classical art

Man Ray iron with nails or Cadeau

Surrealism cartoon
Man Ray cartoon

A cartoon about surrealism as an assault on traditional art
A comment on how the modern art movement affected the art establishment

A man in an art gallery carrying the surrealist sculpture Cadeau (Man Ray) with which he’s attacked and slashed a classical oil painting (using the nails that are attached to the flat iron in Cadeau)
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Surrealism cartoon: Salvador Dali lobster telephone and shrimp cell phone

Salvador Dali cartoon - lobster cell phone

Surrealism cartoon
Salvador Dali cartoon: Lobster Telephone

Cartoon showing surrealist artist Salvador Dali’s Lobster Telephone – and his less well known Shrimp Cell Phone (or in Britain, Shrimp Mobile Phone)

Dali’s Lobster Telephone is also titled Aphrodisiac Telephone
The joke of course is that a shrimp is to a lobster as a cell phone is to a landline phone (especially an old fashioned one as in Dali’s lobster phone)
Just to clarify things – I made the shrimp phone up
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Contemporary art cartoons

contemporary art cartoons

Contemporary art cartoon heading illustration

An illustration featuring a sculpture of the words contemporary art

In this drawing the words contemporary art are depicted as sculptural letters in the self consciously naive crude artless style of some contemporary art

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