Matthias Wivel on Rembrandt and Crumb

Posted by on August 15th, 2010 at 4:34 AM

Matthias Wivel discusses Crumb’s Genesis and the ambiguity of illustration.

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2 Responses to “Matthias Wivel on Rembrandt and Crumb”

  1. patford says:

    The use of “cliche” in art is common.
    The images in Flemish painting would look inventive as compared to the images employed by Crumb only if a person weren’t very familiar with Flemish painting.
    Ancient art (Egypt, Assyria, Sumer, Crete…) had highly formalized image lexicons.
    The creation of an understandable visual vocabulary is central to art’s role as communication. What looks strange to eyes not used to seeing a particular language is a cliche to those used to that particular style of imagery; “movements” in art or “schools” of style.
    Even modern artists like Pollack develop personal styles which could easily be described as cliche. In the instance of a restless, and prolific artist like Picasso, he developed several different period styles all of which are based on what could easily be called cliche.

  2. patford says:

    Matthias: “What he does it NOT easy, and it certainly isn’t “thoughtless” or “lazy” — it’s highly refined.”
    Sometimes it’s necessary to state the obvious.
    It might be interesting to know which cartoonist a person thinks might be better suited, or able to take on the task Crumb set for himself, and achieved so admirably.
    Would Neal Adams or Alex Ross have been more suited to the job?
    Personally I have no problem placing Crumb with Blake, Bruegel, or Rembrandt.
    There is no shame associated with a cartoon vernacular, anymore than there would be with Ukioyo-e.
    The measure of an artist is his art. Crumb is a great artist who happens to be a cartoonist.