Where do artists get their ideas from?

Where do artists get their ideas from?

Contemporary art concepts cartoon.

A cartoon about a website from which contemporary artists can download concepts for their artworks.
The artwork in the cartoon is a piece of performance art, in which the artist covers himself or herself with ticks which then suck the artists blood – as a metaphor for the exploitative workings of capitalism.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art108

See my book of cartoons about art here.

But is it art? Cartoon

But is it art cartoon

But is it art?

The cartoon about the cliché phrase ‘But is it art?’
The cartoon’s use of the cliché is itself is a cliché, so it’s a cliché about a cliché.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art106
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.

Andy Warhol cartoon

Andy Warhol cartoon soup tins

Andy Warhol cartoon – Campbell’s soup

A cartoon showing one of Anndy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup silkscreen prints.
A viewer is saying that it was rumoured that Warhol had produced a series of Heinz soup tins too but that Campbell’s had bought them all up and they were never seen again.

Original version drawn: 2006
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art103
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.

Conceptual art cartoon

Conceptual art cartoon

Conceptual art cartoon – unopened tubes of oil paint.

A tutor, lecturer or gallery guide showing a group of people an artwork in an art gallery.
The work is composed of a box of unopened tubes of paint.
The artist’s concept for the artwork is that the tubes embody the potential for art.
Following a comment by a member of the group the lecturer comments that great art has multiple resolutions. This may be true or it may be a cop out – multiple resolutions in themselves.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art102
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.

Cartoon – contemporary art with a message

Art with a political message – cartoon

Art with an obscure message.

A cartoon about art that tackles issues and asks questions, but that does so in such oblique ways that the ‘meaning’ of the art is too obscure for the audience to appreciate or understand unless they are highly informed.
I drew this cartoon while thinking about political art. Political art can sometimes be quite obviously didactic with an element of agitprop or propaganda, which some may argue makes it superficial. At the other end of the spectrum it can be so obscure that its meaning is only apparent to the initiated.
The man in this cartoon is either initiated or is posturing in order to impress his companion. I suspect the latter.

Cartoon drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art098
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Cartoon – art that eats people

Art that eats people cartoon

Art that eats people.

A cartoon showing an artwork in an art gallery in the form of a human hand that is positioned on the gallery floor so that it gives the appearance of belonging to a person who has sunk into the floor.
An observer of the artwork wants a closer view, so he decides to step across the line on the floor that separates the public from the art.
As a result he sinks into the ground and becomes part of the artwork.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art094
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Abject art cartoon – art relating to bodily functions

Abject art cartoon  – art relating to bodily functions

Artistic validity within the zeitgeist

A cartoon on the subject of abject art – contemporary art that has a repulsive or revolting quality and that focuses on unappealing aspects of the human body and bodily functions.

In the cartoon an artist has used a toilet roll for drawing or painting on. A visitor to the gallery is wondering what the brown medium is that he painted with.
The cartoon implies that it is human excrement or faeces, which is a typical trope of abject art.
Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art097
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Art education cartoon

Art education cartoon

Artistic validity within the zeitgeist

The cartoon shows an art college student creating an artwork.
The tutor is criticising the work because the student is artistically independent minded and the art she is creating doesn’t adhere to the artistic principles that he or the college believe in.
He is saying “You can’t just go off on some crazy idea of your own.”
It is a cartoon about the fact that the wrong art education can stifle a person’s artistic vision rather than expand and encourage it. It is about the role of art educators.
You may notice that the art that the student is creating is in a style that is currently seen in contemporary art galleries. This means that either the cartoon is set in the past before this type of art was adopted (and thus the student was very much justified in going off in her own direction) or the art college is a bit more conservative than it thinks it is.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art096
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Gimmickry in contemporary art – cartoon

Gimmickry in contemporary art cartoon

A scratch and sniff artwork – gimmickry in art.

The cartoon shows a contemporary art exhibit in an art gallery.
The exhibit is a scratch and sniff piece, meaning that if the viewer scratches it it will release an odour.
The artwork looks a bit suspect to me, so I’m not sure I’d want to smell it.
Pieces of artwork that utilise scratch and sniff technology can be fun, but in the example in this cartoon I suspect that it’s just pretentious gimmickry (as does the person in the cartoon).

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art090
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Distracting video art soundtracks in art galleries – cartoon

Distracting soundtracks in art galleries cartoon

The distracting soundtracks of video art in art galleries.

This cartoon is about the annoyance caused by the soundtracks of video art and moving image art in art galleries.
Some gallery goers like the noise level in art galleries to be kept to an absolute minimum, the better to concentrate on the art.
I’m not quite sure why curators allow soundtracks to intrude into this space. Perhaps they think that it makes the gallery space more lively and dynamic and less intimidating.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art088
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Unusual art techniques cartoon – smoke sculpture

Unusual art techniques cartoon

An unusual art technique – sculpting with smoke.

The cartoon shows an artist manipulating two hand fans to nudge the smoke from a candle into different sculptural shapes.
Smoke sculpture of this type are normally very transitory and ephemeral, however the artist has got a few glass display domes that he can keep the smoke sculptures in so that they aren’t destroyed by draughts.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art087
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Contemporary art gallery cartoon

Contemporary art gallery cartoon

Gallery goers mistaking a slaughterhouse for a contemporary art gallery.

The cartoon depicts two visitors to an art gallery admiring an artwork composed of animal carcasses hanging from hooks.
The truth is though, they aren’t in an art gallery at all – they are in a real slaughterhouse next door to an art gallery.

Original version drawn: 2012
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art086
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Feminist art cartoon

Feminist art cartoon

Feminist art cartoon

An art installation in an art gallery, consisting of a washing line with souvenir tea towels from art gallery gift shops hanging from it.
The tea towels are of famous artworks, all by male artists.
A cartoon about the dominance of men in the art world (and by extension in a few other places).

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art084
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Contemporary art cartoon – self portrait

Contemporary art cartoon – self portrait

All art is a form of self portraiture

A cartoon about the idea that all art reveals something about the artist, therefore all art is a form of self portrait.
Part of the humour behind the cartoon is that the artist is trying to be clever by displaying a kitchen tap as a self portrait, while the woman looking at the work (who is meant to look like a normal member of the public rather than an initiate into the rarified thinking behind some contemporary art) is one step ahead of the artist in her analysis.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art082
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Repulsion in contemporary art – abject art cartoon

Contemporary art repulsive materials cartoon

The use of repulsive materials in contemporary art (sometimes known as abject art).

The conflict between the urge to be a creative artist and domestic duties.

In the cartoon an elderly woman at an art evening class is creating a sculpture of a cat out of paper mâché. This is very much a cliché or trope about art evening classes.
The tutor is suggesting that she uses other materials to create her model, perhaps spittle and pig’s offal.
This is a comment on a tendency for some practitioners of contemporary art to use viscerally revolting materials in their art.

First version drawn: 2012
This version: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art069
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Masculinity and modern sculpture cartoon

Modern sculpture cartoon with testosterone

Masculinity in modern sculpture cartoon

A cartoon about modernist sculpture that displays a noticeable masculine bent.
Typical of this type of sculpture is hard-edged welded steel sculpture, as shown in the cartoon.
As is figurative sculpture featuring thrusting muscular males of course.
Sculptures that are a bit on the large size may fit the bill too.
The label on the sculpture in the cartoon informs us that the sculpture is composed of steel, granite and testosterone.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art081
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Contemporary art cartoon – judging meaning and quality

Contemporary art cartoon – meaning and quality

Contemporary art – is meaning more important than quality?

A cartoon concerned with judging modern art or contemporary art by its meaning and by its quality.
Because modern and contemporary art often have a cerebral dimension they are often judged by this metric rather than that of aesthetic quality or the quality of execution.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art078
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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The self-absorbed artist – cartoon

Contemporary art cartoon

A self-absorbed artist and his long suffering wife or partner.

The conflict between the urge to be a creative artist and domestic duties.

In the cartoon an artist is in his studio creating massive colour field paintings. His wife or partner is complaining that he really ought to get round to painting the kitchen.
Part of the joke is that applying paint to a colour field painting is not dissimilar to applying paint to kitchen walls, yet he chooses to only work on the paintings.
Artists can sometimes be perceived as being very selfish self-absorbed individuals who’s work takes priority over all other things, including domestic chores and household duties.

First version drawn: 2012
This version: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art068
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Understanding contemporary art cartoon

Understanding contemporary art cartoon

Understanding contemporary art cartoon

A cartoon showing a piece of contemporary art on an art gallery wall.
It is a text piece, that reads If you think you understand it you don’t understand it.
A man looking at the artwork is saying “Of course I understand it.”

The cartoon is partly about the cliche of the over-confident man who thinks that he knows everything (especially when he’s talking to a woman). It’s also about the related subject of people posturing in their knowledge and understanding about contemporary art.
The artwork on the gallery wall is a form of conundrum or paradox.
Contemporary art often defies easy analysis because it’s beyond the normal parameters of experience. Sometimes it’s accused of deliberate and pretentious obfuscation.

Cartoon drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art067
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Museum and art gallery deaccessioning cartoon due to student grievance

student protest cartoon

A cartoon about hypercritical student attitudes demanding the removal (deaccessioning) of artworks from galleries.

A cartoon about woke culture and the trend for students’ grievances and dissatisfactions to be translated into action, such as in the form no platforming or the demands for statues of out-of-favour people to be removed.

The action is often seen by some as self-righteous, self-indulgent, censorious and intolerant (ironically, as the students often think that they are acting for the greater benefit of others).
The cartoon shows the danger of the students adopting a feeling of over-entitlement and thus taking their attitudes out into the wider world beyond their colleges.
The inspiration for this image was a news story about students disapproving of a sculpture by Henry Moore, and demanding that it wasn’t displayed on their university campus.

The cartoon was drawn in 2016, but it seems even more relevant in 2020 with the woke culture on the ascendency. There are lots of statue removing campaigns going on at the moment (August, 2020) and there’s a bit of a campaign to have a mural by Rex Whistler in Tate Britain removed because a detail of it depicts a black person in chains.
In 2018 a painting, Hylas and the Nymphs by J W Waterhouse, was removed temporarily from Manchester Art Gallery as part of an art event by Sonia Boyce as a comment on what some people view as inappropriate art for the modern age.

Drawn: 2016

Cartoon reference: a734
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