A cartoon about repatriation and reparation by art galleries and museums.
A cartoon concerning the return of works and items from the collections of museums and art galleries that are now judged by some to have been obtained by inappropriate means.
The cartoon is about the fact that the definition of ‘inappropriate means’ can be widened until it encompasses almost all transactions.
Currently it is chiefly applied to works that fall into the decolonisation category.
A cartoon about unconscious racism, sexism, homophobia or transphobia.
The cartoon shows a social gathering at which a person is wearing a T-shirt with the message:
“I’m one the lookout for unconscious racism, sexism, transphobia, homophobia”.
Everyone at the gathering is giving a wide berth to the T-shirt wearer.
As a result the T-shirt wearer is seeing the other people as racist, sexist, homophobic and transphobic.
One of the points of the cartoon is that if you look for something you may see it even of it isn’t there, especially if you are observing through the filter of ideology.
Another point of the cartoon is the divisive nature of excessive ideological zeal – in this case the way that the people at the gathering shy away from interacting with the T-shirt wearer for fear of being over-scrutinised.
A cartoon about the campaign to return the Elgin Marbles, or Parthenon Sculptures, to Greece.
It’s argued that the Elgin Marbles or Parthenon Sculptures should be returned to Greece because of the much debated manner in which they were removed from Greece by Lord Elgin.
This cartoon points out that the Parthenon sculptures were created in the first place by a civilisation that was heavily reliant on slaves.
In the current political climate there have been many statues linked to slavery that have been pulled down.
The comment about returning the sculptures to the bottom of the Aegean is a reference to the throwing of a statue of Sir Edward Colton in to the sea in Bristol here in the UK
A cartoon showing an art gallery removing ‘inappropriate’ art from its displays.
The cartoon comments on the way that in recent years art galleries have started to display works on an ever decreasing number of subjects and by an increasingly narrow range of types of artist (although in the past there were definitely too many works created by other types of artist).
The currently preferred themes for works are those associated with the social justice, or woke, movement – predominantly race, slavery, gender and sexuality.
The cartoon depicts the way in which artworks that are interpreted as going against the ethos of the social justice movement are being removed from galleries.
The cartoon’s caption reads:
“Did you know that there’s a name for the well-meaning people who, in a misguided attempt to be tolerant and respectful, promote the authoritarian and censorious ambitions of the woke movement?
A pun on the word sleepwalkers.
The term useful idiot refers to naive followers of a political cause who aren’t fully aware of the harmful nature of the cause. It is often associated with the followers of communism the mid twentieth century.
A cartoon about censorship and proscriptions on humour.
The cartoon reflects an aspect of the “hate speech” laws (which state that anything that may cause offence is prohibited). Humour by its very nature frequently sets up a tension that may be misinterpreted by the more earnest and humourless amongst us (he says, patronisingly), opening it up to be a target for censorship.
A cartoon about censorship, censoriousness, woke earnestness.
This cartoon was drawn for an exhibition of cartoons about the treatment of dissident artists and cartoonists who live in countries that are governed by oppressive regimes.
The cartoon shows a cartoonist or artist drawing an image on the outside wall of a prison cell of a person escaping from the cell.
A cartoon about human rights, freedom of expression, free speech, repressive regimes, dictatorship.
This cartoon was drawn for an exhibition of cartoons about the treatment of dissident cartoonists who live in countries that are governed by oppressive regimes.
The cartoon shows a cartoonist drawing a cartoon on the outside wall of a prison cell. The cartoon bears the message “Free speech”
A cartoon about human rights, freedom of speech, free speech, repressive regimes, dictatorship.
A cartoon about the tendency among some of the woke to attempt to humiliate and belittle those who think differently to them by ‘shaming’ them. The process of shaming is a convenient way to dismiss other points of view without engaging with it, and of dismissing the person whose view it is.
A cartoon about wokeness, tolerance, intolerence, shaming, shame culture.
Published in the Critic magazine, June 2021.
Although it’s generally agreed that the defeat of Donald Trump in the US elections was a good thing, his outrageous behaviour as president was a perversely energising occurrence during the doldrums of the Covid-19 restrictions.
This cartoon was drawn at a time when political and social causes were in decline and individualism and consumerism were on the ascendant. It shows a teenage girl (who is very concerned about fashion and branding) asking her mother (who in her youth was a social activist) which brand the CND logo represents, as the girl doesn’t recognise it as the symbol of a campaign group.
Now (2021) there is a resurgence in social and political activism, however some of the campaigns are deliberately adopted by commercial organisations to boost their profile in the social concern stakes. A typical example is the commercialisation of Gay Pride.
A person is asking why the snowman is white.
One of the points of the cartoon is that once a social theory has been formulated (any theory, not just crt) it is often used to interpret matters to which it does not apply.
This cartoon was drawn on 4th November 2020, to express concern about the possible direction of the US presidential election, with specific concern about the way that Trump was encouraging his supporters.
Contested US presidential election result cartoon.
The count in the Trump–Biden presidential election 2020 is under way, and it’s looking incendiary, hopefully not literally.
Hopefully there won’t be any violence due to overheated demonstrations by the more fanatical factions involved, although Trump hinted at unrest on the streets.
This cartoon was drawn in September 2020 with the following commentary: The Trump–Biden presidential election in November may turn out to be an explosive affair (hopefully not literally).
With luck it will only be Trump’s personality that’s explosive, however a close result may cause fireworks, and hopefully there won’t be any violence due to overheated demonstrations by the more fanatical factions of the left wing or right wing movements that are evident in the run up.
In the UK there is a law protecting five groups of people, such as ethnic minorities or gay people, from crimes that may be linked to hatred of their group. The government is thinking of extending the definition to include more groups, such as women and old people.
The concept of hate crimes sounds a bit Orwellian to me, but if there is such a law I don’t see why it can’t just include everyone.
There’s also an argument that the entire hate crime rationale is flawed (other than by its Orwellian overtones) and that no-one should be protected in this specific way – is beating up a gay man because he’s gay a worse crime than beating up a straight man because of his accent (which nearly happened to me once)? Now you’ve got to guess what sort of accent I’ve got without seeming prejudiced.
The cartoon shows a lecture about the desirability of ethnic diversity. Almost the whole audience is white.
The inspiration for this cartoon came from the phrase that performers at some events use when describing the audience as ‘a sea of white faces’.
Of course the audience at some events may be predominantly white because that reflects the ethnic mix of the locality or because of the differing interests of different ethnic and cultural groups, however sometimes it is a result of issues around discrimination concerning opportunities and access, as is implied in this cartoon.
A cartoon about race, racism, bame issues, discrimination, unconscious discrimination, cultural discrimination, racial bias.
To what extent should art galleries reflect contemporary concerns?
A cartoon about changing the exhibits in art galleries and museums to reflect contemporary society and to avoid offence.
It’s quite common in art galleries that exhibit contemporary art for the art to reflect contemporary concerns (or at least the contemporary concerns that concern the art world).
This cartoon shows a historical artwork being judged by contemporary mores (or rather, the mores of a particular sector of society that embraces ‘woke’ values).