Art as a bid for immortality

Art as a bid for immortality cartoon

A cartoon about creating art as a bid for immortality

The cartoon shows an artist working on a painting.
He is saying “While I’m alive I like to think of my work living on when I’m dead, but when I’m dead I probably won’t care one way or the other.”

The cartoon is about the way that people are often motivated in their lives to do things due to the awareness of their own mortality, and the paradox that once they have died they won’t care.
It is interesting to speculate on how much of human activity is motivated by this urge, and what position the human race would be in if we didn’t have the urge.

Cartoon drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art014
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Art snob cartoon

Art snob cartoon

Cartoon showing an art snob looking in distain at some people he judges as less cultured.

A cartoon about elitism in the arts and the snobbery of artistic and aesthetic taste.

Drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art008
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Rodin thinker cartoon

Rodin Thinker cartoon

Cartoon about Rodin’s sculpture, the Thinker

A cartoon showing August Rodin at work on his sculpture, the Thinker, with the person who is modelling for the sculpture.

Rodin is asking the model “What do you think?”

Original version drawn: 2007
This version drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art007
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Art gallery exhibit – cartoon – what is your greatest wish?

Audience participation art cartoon

Cartoon about art that asks people questions.

A cartoon about audience participation art installations.

The cartoon is set inside an art gallery, showing an installation in which the participant has to write down their greatest wish.
A cartoon about art predicting the future of society and the world and about the fulfilment of people’s desires and wishes.

Drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art005
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Sponsorship in the arts cartoon

 Sponsorship, censorship and ethics in the arts cartoon

Cartoon about sponsorship in the arts

A cartoon about a possible conflict between sponsorship in the arts and censorship in the arts.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art010
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Gormley Angel of the North cartoon

Gormley Angel of the North cartoon

Cartoon of the Angel of the North by Antony Gormley

The Angel of the North with a propeller hat

Original version drawn: 2006
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art001
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Christo and Jeanne-Claude cartoon

Christo artist cartoon

Cartoon about the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude

A cartoon about Christo Vladimirov Javacheff (1935–2020) and Jeanne-Claude Denat de Guillebon (1935–2009) whose signature works were of objects and buildings wrapped in fabric.

The caption of the cartoon is : “I once bought one of their works as a birthday present – and he unwrapped it.”
Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s most famous pieces are the wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin; Surrounded Islands, Biscayne Bay, Greater Miami, Florida, 1983; the Pont Neuf Wrapped in Paris, 1985; The Gates, Central Park, New York City, 2005; The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy, 2016; Mastaba, Hyde Park, London, 2018.

Original version drawn: 2007
This version drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art030
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Understanding art – cartoon

Understanding contemporary art cartoon

Understanding contemporary art cartoon.

The cartoon shows a visitor to an art gallery checking the art establishment’s opinion about a work of contemporary art before forming an opinion of his own.

A cartoon about the difficulty of appreciating and understanding some contemporary art.
Contemporary art can often have oblique and esoteric meanings and is frequently aesthetically challenging.

Original version drawn: 2012
This version drawn: 2019

There’s an earlier version of this cartoon here.

Cartoon reference number: art016
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Michelangelo David cartoon

Michelangelo David sculpture cartoon

Michelangelo David and Goliath cartoon.

The cartoon shows the sculpture of David by Michelangelo.
An observer is commenting “If that’s his David I’d love to see his Goliath.”.

Original version drawn: 2006
This version drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art017
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Book of ART CARTOONS

visual arts cartoon book humour humor jokes

New book of cartoons about visual art

Cartoons ranging from Vermeer to contemporary art

 
visual art cartoon book link

Published December 2019
Order it from your local bookshop or buy it through Amazon, such as:


 

A book of 114 full colour cartoons on the subject of the visual arts.
The cartoons in the book include several new versions of cartoons that are on this site along with many that have been created specially for the book.
The targets of the jokes range from artists themselves to the audiences in art galleries, and from art classes to art techniques.
There are jokes about specific artists – Picasso, Dali, Magritte, Mondrian, Vermeer.
There are jokes about the art market and about art criticism and art theory.

visual art cartoon book link

Environment cartoon book

The Beast That Ate the Earth
Environment cartoon book

Versions of many of the environmental cartoons on this site can be found in my book, The Beast That Ate the Earth.


I”ve been drawing cartoons on environmental matters since the early 1970s.
The book was published in 2004 and contains about a hundred cartoons in black and white.

The book is available through Amazon.
Such as at:
Amazon UK

Amazon USA

Amazon Germany

Notre-Dame Fire Restoration Fund/Sackler boycott cartoon

Notre Dame fire restoration fund cartoon

Notre-Dame fire restoration fund/Sackler boycott cartoon.
(Drawn on the night of the fire, before the actual donations controversy that followed.)

15 April 2019.
This is a cartoon that deliberately links two current news stories: the restoration of Notre-Dame cathedral following the devastating fire and the boycotting of funding from the Sackler family charitable trusts.
The cartoon was drawn on the evening of the fire, and predates the controversy about the donations from large businesses that developed in the following days.
The cartoon is primarily about the current controversy in some western societies concerning the assumed ethical standards of the donors who contribute funds to institutions such as art galleries and religious buildings.

The Sackler family are major benefactors to many institutions. Only a week ago I was in Westminster Abbey in London where I noticed their name on a recently restored stained glass window to which I assume they had contributed funding.
However, the Sackler family own Purdue Pharma, a company that produces the prescription painkiller OxyContin that is said to be addictive. Thus there are calls to boycott any charitable funding offered by the Sackler family.
Of course the Sackler family are far from being the only donors to charitable causes who may be involved in supposedly tainted money. It could possibly be argued that any organisation that had enough money to distribute in such lavish ways must have come about it by somewhat dubious means, depending on one’s standards.
Cartoon reference number: a769

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Banksy parody

banksy girl with balloon parody - value or price in art market

Banksy parody.

Girl with balloon

A parody of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon image, with the balloon replaced by a £ sign.

The image was inspired by the sale of the version of Banksy’s Girl with Balloon that shredded itself immediately after it was sold at Sotheby’s for a very large sum of money, thus increasing its value even more.
Was the work intended to be a protest at the nature of the contemporary art market? And was the fact that the piece immediately increased in value following its shredding part of Banksy’s plan, and a deliberate dig at the art market? Also, was the piece actually supposed to go all the way though the shredder and end up as a pile of spaghetti on the floor but for the fact that the shredder jammed?

Cartoon reference number: a766

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The green man – cartoon

Cartoon - the green man (as a tree)

The green man.

The concept of the green man stretches back to antiquity, and is usually depicted as a head covered in leaves and foliage.
In this cartoon version, the green man is depicted as a tree, where the only evidence of a human link is the man’s legs protruding below the tree’s foliage and forming the tree trunk.

Concept: 2010

Cartoon reference number: a761

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A world in which there is no countryside, only city development

Cartoon - a city scene where the only evidence of nature is on a traffic island

An urban landscape with no trees or grass except on a traffic roundabout.

A person in a passing car is saying to their children “Look kids – the countryside!”
A cartoon about sprawling urban development, green spaces, the concrete jungle, nature being squeezed out, urbanisation, urbanization, city gardens,

 Drawn: 2016
Cartoon reference number: a760

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Cell phone dependency (or mobile phone dependency) cartoon

Cartoon - cell phone dependency

Dependency on mobile phones – cartoon.

People are beginning to rely to an excessive extent on their mobile phone (cell phone) and on digital electronic technology.
This cartoon illustrates this by depicting tourists who are using the sat-nav function of their mobile phones to navigate to a hotel. The gps has stopped working and they don’t know how to find the hotel, even though it’s plainly in full view.

Cartoon reference number: a758

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The “post truth” society

Cartoon about ignoring the truth in favour of prejudice

Post truth cartoon.
Truth and facts being ignored in favour of emotional or prejudiced viewpoints.

The concept of ignoring the facts when reaching a decision about something, and letting the heart rather than the head rule, seems to be a phenomenon that’s on the rise. It has recently been labelled ‘post truth’.
In the cartoon I’ve linked it to the phenomenon of conspiracy theories, which are frequently used as a way of justifying irrational or unproven ideas.
The rise of post truth tendencies is said to be linked to people’s increasing use of social media via phones and electronic media and the tendency for internet algorithms to send people only information that they already agree with – however the tendency has always been there in the way that people purchase newspapers that agree with their political and other views.
It may also be linked to the current mistrust of experts.

Cartoon reference number: a756

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Donald Trump elected president of the United States – the future looks grim.

do you remember where you were when trump was first elected?

“Do you remember where you were when trump was first elected?”

A cartoon showing two people in a devastated landscape, with a tattered stars and stripes flag.
One of the people is asking the other if he remembers the time when Donald Trump was first elected as president of the United States (implying that the degraded landscape in which they are sitting is a result of the Trump presidency).

Cartoon reference number: a753

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The Grim Reaper pursuing old people

grim reaper pursuing elderly people

The grim reaper following elderly people – and getting closer all the time.

The personification of death in the form of the grim reaper pursuing an elderly couple.
The old people are slowing down due to old age and infirmity, thus allowing the grim reaper to catch up with them.

Cartoon reference number: a088a
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The Grim Reaper with a baby Grim Reaper

grim reaper and baby grim reaper in pushchair

The grim reaper with a baby grim reaper in a pushchair

The personification of death in the form of the grim reaper pushing a pushchair or baby buggy in which sits an infant grim reaper.
Part of the concept behind the cartoon is to show a link between birth and death.
It’s also meant to be humorous because it humanises the grim reaper.

Cartoon reference number: a751

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The grim reaper upgrades from a scythe to a combine harvester

grim reaper buys a combine harvester

The grim reaper buys a combine harvester

The personification of death in the form of the grim reaper upgrades from his scythe to a combine harvester. The harvester is here a symbol of much greater ‘harvesting’ power than the scythe – in other words a means of achieving a much greater death toll, similar to a weapon of mass destruction.

Cartoon reference number: a750

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A tribute to William Heath Robinson

Tribute to William Heath Robinson cartoon

Heath Robinson style cartoon - detail

Detail

This cartoon was drawn as a tribute to William Heath Robinson on the occasion of the opening of the new Heath Robinson Museum in Pinner (where Heath Robinson lived).

This cartoon shows a Heath Robinson style contraption and is captioned “A contraption for capturing unusually shaped clouds”.

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A common view of modern art – the Emperor’s New Clothes

emperor's new clothes modern art cartoon

Jokes about art gallery goers admiring blank canvases are a staple for cartoonists who want to satirise modern art.
Here’s one of my contributions (although I like this sort of art).

Interestingly, the abstract expressionist painter Ad Reinhardt, who painted canvases that were uniformly black, also worked as a cartoonist who satirised modern art.

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How social media confirms your prejudiced – creating a ‘phoney’ world view

phone filter bubble algorithm

How social media in phones filter information – giving the user a ‘phoney’ (or phony) world view

How social media etc via phones and other digital devices reinforce prejudices by filtering information so that the user only sees information that conforms to the user’s existing biases.

The ‘filter bubble’ of social media and other digital technology is similar to the ‘culture bubble’ of real-world travel and peer group opinions and attitudes.
Ref a745
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How did you vote in the Brexit referendum, Daddy?

Brexit cartoon - How did you vote daddy?

A cartoon showing a man who is regretting voting for Britain to leave the EU in the 2016 referendum.

The image is partly a comment on the extreme criticism of ‘leave’ voters by those who voted to stay in the EU.

Based on the WW1 recruitment poster “Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?”
Ref a746
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Brexit referendum cartoon – Britain votes to leave the EU

Brexit cartoon Union flag in person's face

Brexit cartoon – the winds of change.

The cartoon shows a British person with a British flag (union jack) blown into his face so that he can’t see where he’s going.

The image may show a person who can’t see the future ahead now that Britain has voted to leave the EU, with the flag representing Britain.
Alternatively, it may show a person who was blinded by patriotism before the referendum and thus voted to leave the EU on those grounds. This doesn’t imply that everyone who voted to leave the EU in the referendum are blinkered nationalists, just that blinkered nationalists probably voted for Brexit and thus managed to get many other Leave voters tarred with the same brush.
Cartoon reference number: a742b
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Air pollution cartoon

Air pollution cartoon

An environmental cartoon about air pollution

Showing a man using breathing apparatus to breathe fresh air in a polluted atmosphere. The oxygen cylinder contains a plant that is generating oxygen

Part of the idea behind the cartoon is to convey the concept that plants are the lungs of the world, liberating oxygen from carbon dioxide via photosynthesis.
A cartoon about clear air, atmospheric pollution and toxic chemicals, smoke and smog

Original version created: 1991

Cartoon reference number: env071b
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The phone filter bubble effect – creating a ‘phoney’ world view

filter bubble computer algorithm

How algorithms in phones filter information, thus giving the user a ‘phoney’ (or phony) world view

How the use of phones and other digital devices reinforce prejudices by filtering information so that the user tends to see only information that conforms to the user’s biases.

The ‘filter bubble’ of social media and other digital technology is similar to the ‘culture bubble’ in which travellers and tourists surround themselves with their own culture when abroad.
Ref a744
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Driving into a worrying future

driving to the future - the collapse of civilisation

A car driving off the end of a road – symbolising the human race hurtling towards an uncertain future of its own making.

The car driver is following the sat-nav (GPS) unquestioningly as the car drives off the edge of the precipice (which metaphorically signifies the collapse of civilisation).

The road in this cartoon symbolises the human race’s road into the future, while the car is a metaphor for the human race itself, accompanied by its technological ‘life support system’.
The message is meant to be that if we’re not careful it will all end very badly.
This isn’t an anti-technology or anti-progress cartoon by the way – it’s just a view of how things might go if we aren’t careful.

Original version created: 2016

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Burdened down by money worries

man burdened down by financial problems

A man carrying a giant coin – burdened down by financial problems.
Also a metaphor for the burden of living within a society in which the acquisition of financial wealth is seen as a primary goal above all others.

The giant coin (here a British pound coin) is a symbol of finance in general, and of people’s dependence on the financial system.

A cartoon about money, finance, capital, capitalism, pursuit of wealth, the economy.
Ref a738
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