Christo cartoon

Christo

Cartoon about the artist Christo

A cartoon about contemporary artist Christo Javacheff, who died on 31st May 2020.
The cartoon shows a young Christo wrapping sweets.
Christo and Jeanne-Claude (his wife and collaborator) were famous for art installations that involved wrapping things up – usually buildings.

The caption of the cartoon is : Famous Artists in Their Student Days: Christo’s Holiday Job
This version of the cartoon was drawn at the time of Christo’s death. The original version was drawn about twenty years before.
Drawn: 1st June 2020
Cartoon reference number: a779
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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.

Sculpture cartoon

Sculpture cartoon – the human condition

Sculpture cartoon.

Two sculptures of human forms in an art gallery.
One is titled Freedom, the other Trapped.
The Freedom sculpture is of a person in a flight-like dance pose on top of a plinth.
The Trapped sculpture is of a person embedded or enprisoned in the plinth itself.
A cartoon about art about the human condition.

Original version drawn: 2006
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art101
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.

An artist’s low income – cartoon

A poverty stricken artist – cartoon

A poverty stricken artist – cartoon.

A cartoon about the very low income that many artists earn.
Many artists struggle to earn a living from their art.
Becoming an artist is not a good way to become rich (despite the obvious inflated incomes of the superstars of the art world).
The artist in the cartoon at least seems to have an agent or a gallerist who is interested in his work (still no guarantee of a good livelihood though!)

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art111

This cartoon is in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.

Magritte pastiche cartoon

Magritte pastiche cartoon

Magritte: pastiche of The Treachery of Images.

A cartoon showing a Samsung mobile phone in the style of a Magritte painting, with the words ‘This is not an apple’ written under it. The phone is not an Apple iPhone.
The cartoon is a pastiche of Magritte’s painting The Treachery of Images (La Trahison des images), which is a painting of a pipe with the words ‘Ceci n’est pas une pipe’ (This is not a pipe) written below it.

Original cartoon drawn: 2013
This version drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art110

This cartoon is 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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Contemporary still life painting cartoon

Contemporary still life painting cartoon

Contemporary still life painting of take-away food.

The cartoon shows an oil painting in the still life tradition, showing an arrangement of food on a table.
Unlike traditional still life paintings however, the food is modern convenience or take-away food.
As with traditional still life the painting is obviously very well painted, as the man is commenting on the equisite rendering in paint of the texture of the packaging.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art093
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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Conformity in art – cartoon

Conformity on art cartoon

Conforming to an art movement.

A cartoon about the observation that avant garde or radical art movements can, by definition, be very narrow and restrictive in their own ways.

First version drawn: 2011
This version: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art085
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 – a builders’ skip full of traditional paintings

Contemporary art cartoon – a builders' skip full of traditional paintings

Contemporary art cartoon – a builders’ skip full of traditional paintings

A builders’ skip in an art gallery, full of traditional oil paintings as though they are being thrown away as part of a gallery refurbishment.
The skip is in fact an artist’s installation or sculpture. I hope.
The cartoon could be about art galleries trying to modernise and rebrand in order to attract a new generation of visitors.
Or it could be about the current (2020) trend for some traditional art to be judged incompatible with modern values as part of the debate about being woke.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art083
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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Munch Scream cartoon and Instagram-friendly art exhibitions

Munch Scream cartoon

Munch cartoon – the Scream

A cartoon featuring the Scream by Edvard Munch.
The cartoon is a comment on the way that art galleries and museums are becoming more accessible to the general public and are moving away from their aura of slightly intimidating elitism.
It is also about the way that art galleries and museums are deliberately targeting themselves at the Instagram generation, often arranging their works so that they are Instagram friendly and encouraging visitors to take photographs (which was very much frowned on in the past).
Here the art gallery has set up an interactive or audience participation display featuring a large-scale version of the Scream with a hole in it so that people can photograph each other as the person in the painting. Obviously the people will all have great fun pulling funny faces, often parodying or mimicking the facial expression in the Scream. Part of the joke in the cartoon is that the person being photographed has been asked the common request by the photographer to smile.

Cartoon drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art080
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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Picasso cartoon

Picasso cartoon

Picasso painting a portrait.

The cartoon shows Picasso at work on an oil painting of a woman.
The painting is in one of Picasso’s most recognisable styles, in which the features of the person are very distorted.
Picasso is saying “This painting will make you so famous that you won’t be able to walk down the street without being recognised.”

First version drawn: 2007
This version: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art071
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Modern art cartoon – pop-up book of modern sculpture

Modern art cartoon pop-up sculpture

Modern art cartoon – pop-up book of modern sculpture.

The cartoon shows a man in the bookshop of an art gallery opening a book.
The book is a pop-up book of modern sculpture.
The sculpture is unfolding in the manner of a children’s pop-up book.

The cartoon is partly a comment on the gimmicky merchandising of art as found in art gallery gift shops (I quite like some of this merchandise – I have a Mona Lisa tea tray and a bar of chocolate with Munch’s Scream on it amongst others).
It is also a comment on the welcome move away from stuffy elitism that used to make art intimidating and inaccessible to many people.
The sculpture in the cartoon is of the modernist variety that includes constructivism and industrial steel plate sculptures – genres that lend themselves well to the pop-up treatment.

Cartoon drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art075
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Art gallery sculpture cartoon

Art gallery sculpture cartoon

Sculpture displayed in an art gallery – cartoon.

The cartoon shows a row of busts displayed in an art gallery or museum.
The busts all rest on plinths, as is conventional. However, one of the plinths has feet below it as well as a head above it.

Cartoon drawn: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art074
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Rorschach inkblot test – art cartoon

Rorschach inkblot test art cartoon

Contemporary art composed of Rorschach tests.

The cartoon shows three images of the same Rorschach inkblot test image displayed on an art gallery wall. Each image is given a different title based on different possibilities of what the inkblot suggests.

The cartoon is partly about the multiple interpretations that can be made of works of contemporary art.

First version drawn: 2017
This version: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art070
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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Art gallery merchandise cartoon – Kazimir Malevich black square

Malovich black square cartoon

Kazimir Malevich cartoon – black square jigsaw puzzle.

A cartoon about art merchandising – the sort of novelty item you can purchase in art gallery and museum gift shops.
Art galleries and museums generate quite a lot of much needed income through merchandising and gift shops (and cafés).
Here the merchandise is a jigsaw puzzle.
It is a jigsaw of Kazimir Malevich’s seminal work of modern art Black Square.
The joke is, of course, that a black square would make for an extremely difficult jigsaw puzzle – it’s bad enough doing the skies in relatively easy ones. So the jigsaw puzzle is in some ways a work of art in its own right.

This version: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art064
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Artist’s muse cartoon

Artist's muse cartoon

An artist and his muse.

A cartoon showing an artist taking a break from his creative process.
While he’s relaxing a small figure representing his muse wafts in from his studio. He tries to ignore it.

This is a cartoon about the way that the urge to create and the impulse to work can be a bit of a curse for people of a highly creative personality type. Their thought processes just never give the a break.
A cartoon about creativit and inspiration.

Cartoon first drawn: 2007
This version: 2019

Cartoon reference number: art066
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Looking at contemporary art cartoon – an optician’s eye test chart

Eye test chart as art cartoon

A contemporary artwork composed of an ophthalmologist’s eye test chart.

The cartoon shows visitors to an art gallery looking at a piece of contemporary artwork that takes the form of an optician’s eye test.
They are looking intensely at the artwork in order to try to ‘read’ it in an attempt to understand its meaning. The man is saying that he understands it up to a certain point, that point being where the letters on the eye chart become too small for him to read.
The cartoon is about how to look at art. The artwork could be titled Ways of Seeing.

This version: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art062
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Surrealism cartoon – Man Ray’s iron

Man Ray iron with nails cadeau cartoon

Modern art disrupts classical art – Man Ray’s Cadeau.

A cartoon illustrating the effect of modern art movements such as surrealism on traditional and classical art.
A man (possibly Man Ray) is slashing a traditional landscape oil painting using Man Ray’s surrealist sculpture Cadeau, a flat iron with a row of nails attached to it.

Original cartoon: 2007
This version: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art061
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Rene Magritte cartoon

Rene Magritte cartoon

Magritte cartoon – pastiche of Golconde.

A cartoon based on the Rene Magritte surrealist painting Golconde in which Magritte is painting a surreal image of raining men. The image seems to be imaginary, however in the cartoon Magritte can be seen to be painting the reality that is in front of him.
A cartoon about surrealism, realism, reality, imagination.

Concept: 2007
Drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art060
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Art galleries for the Instagram generation – cartoon

Celebrity culture in art cartoon

An art gallery removing classical portraits to replace them with contemporary celebrity selfies.

This cartoon is about contemporary celebrity culture, and its possible impact on art galleries and museums.
In the cartoon the portraits of historically important figures are being removed in order to make way for selfies of social media celebrities of the Instagram generation.
Part of the concept behind the cartoon is the potential debasement of culture due to commercial pressures in order to attract a new audience, on the basis that larger audiences attract more funding or income for art establishments.

Drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art059
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Contemporary art – the primacy of the concept

Contemporary art cartoon – the primacy of the concept

Contemporary art cartoon – the primacy of concept over aesthetics and execution.

This cartoon is about the way that the contemporary art world sometimes regards the intellectual concept behind a work of art as being in some ways more important than the physical quality and aesthetics of the artwork. The work can sometimes only be appreciated if the concepts behind the work are understood.

Drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art058
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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Jeff Koons cartoon – Balloon Dog

Jeff Koons cartoon

Jeff Koons cartoon.

The cartoon shows a Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog artwork.
The balloon dog has defecated on the art gallery floor, in the form of a balloon.
I first used this idea in a cartoon set in a surreal world of balloon people and balloon animals in 2009, later transferring the concept to the Jeff Koons sculpture.

Drawn: 2019
Cartoon reference number: art057
This cartoon features in my book of cartoons about art.
See the book here.
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