Friday, December 05, 2008

Portraits--Cartoon Choices

Shawn, who spends his days contemplating the political lives of the Czech avant-garde, says:
"Interesting idea. Obviously this is not such a simple question, as so few questions are. What am I looking for out of this portrait? Obviously, to have one's portrait from an Italian master would be amazing, and amazingly valuable, but then it would mean either that A) you'd be long since dead or B) some weird x-files shit has been going on. I don't know, if I could just dodge the complexities of the question, and of course dodging complexities are never so easy, I would pick Adolf Hoffmeister to do my portrait. On the one hand, I feel like picking Dali or Picasso would be too stereotypical and easy. After all, I don't want my portrait to be some visual kitsch; it would need some novelty to it. On the other hand, I feel drawn to someone like Kandinsky or maybe even Francis Bacon, but then again, I feel like some visual likeness would be important to me. After all, if it's my "portrait" I would want it to portray a visual likeness.

In fact, that's precisely why I'd pick Hoffmeister. I want the most essential, simple visual likeness possible. Hoffmeister, as you know, had a penchant for reducing his subjects to the most simple traits; depicting individuals with a few, sometimes a single, line. This is what fascinates me most: How could an artist summarize my visual likeness, my caricature, my being, in the most simple, essential matter? What are those one or two visual traits that essentially define me in some recognizable way? I would guess my glasses, maybe my brow, but is that really what defines me? A mere "resemblence" does not necessarily excite me; I have drawn enough
self-portraits to know what I look like in pencil etchings. But I want to see myself with as little baggage as possible, an ur-"I" if you will. That interests me alot."
Adolf Hoffmeister, The Avant-garde, 1930
L-R: Karel Teige, Vítězslav Nezval (Shawn's very favorite avant-gardist because of the beachball-torso effect), Jindřich Honzl, Jan Werich, Jiří Voskovec

Dr. Zaius states:
"I would like to have my portrait done by the wildly imaginative comic book artist Jack Kirby because of his great talent at drawing alien landscapes, outlandish machines and deliciously evil supervillians, especially Dr. Doom."

And still more weird and wonderful choices to come!

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5 Comments:

Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

You know, my second choice would have been John Tenniel.

December 06, 2008 5:01 PM  
Blogger Karla said...

Ooh, splendid! Why didn't you give both the first time around?

December 06, 2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Utah Savage said...

I'm going to have to give this some very serious thought and get back to you. I, of the self portrait, really care about this subject.

December 07, 2008 9:22 PM  
Blogger Odile said...

John Cassaday will be my choice, I love the way he drwas in such a realistic way, but alway with an action touch.

The fluid traces of his pencil are just incredible.

December 10, 2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

hi karla--can't find your email, so why not call 644-4188 and leave me your phone # then i'll call you right back. big congratulations, by the way.

December 20, 2008 8:35 PM  

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