Richard Warren

20thc British art and poetry (mainly), plus bits of my own – "Clearly I tap to you clearly along the plumbing of the world" (W S Graham)

Tag Archives: George Herriman

A quick shot at Minimalism

I know we’re all Minimalists nowadays (at least in terms of interior design). But I’ve never quite learned to love it. I think Maximalism might be more my thing.

While black-bagging heaps of unworthy old artwork today, I came across this –

carl

– which I must have drawn (for no particular reason) about thirty five years ago, following the Carl André bricks sculpture controversy at the Tate. (For the Tate bricks, titled Equivalent VIII, see here.) The drawing is a homage to George Herriman’s magisterial comic strip Krazy Kat. The Kat has become Carl André (Krazy Karl? – not a bad likeness, actually), and is on the receiving end of a brick “dat will minimalize ya”, the brick being the invariable weapon of choice of Ignatz Mouse. (Those who know the strip will recall that Krazy always interprets these assaults, mistakenly, as tokens of love.)

As this little drawing is rather of its moment, I couldn’t quite bear to throw it away, so here it is.

Turfing through tatty folders of forgotten stuff I also found quite a few pieces of writing, such as:

  • An Erich Von Daniken piss-take titled “Was God a Submarine? An important message for mankind from the Master Celesteron,” which claims (among other things) that Romulus and Remus were adopted by a mobile drinks dispenser.
  • An early ‘seventies text describing a revival of dandyism and swordsmanship among urban delinquents (“I danced in a mirror of arcades. I dreamt I fought myself in a duel”) – a clear anticipation of Adam Ant and the New Romantics, nearly a decade before, I’d say.
  • A fictitious interview with David Frost about the psychology of car crashes (a bit J G Ballard, this one).
  • An impossibly lengthy synopsis of an opera (as given out by a broadcaster, shortly before the performance), which drifts into a paranoid religious rant.

And much more similar. No wonder I never got anything done. None of it publishable, or even good enough to be published, I dare say. What shall I do with it all? Shove it back in the folder and come back to it in another thirty five years, probably. Though by then I’ll be 98 years old …

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