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By Neil Wedman
Categories: Visual Arts
Paperback : 9781551520759, 93 pages, 1999


They are familiar comic images--a man on a psychiatrist's couch, confessing his sins; lecherous men ogling a buxom server at a cocktail party; a man and woman in tattered clothing, bickering on a deserted island the size of a living room. They are the adult cartoons popularized in literary and men's magazines and collected in pulp digests--single panels with one-sentence gag lines running along the bottom. Sardonic, quick-witted, at times sexist, these images are part of an artistic tradition of humorous illustrations that can be linked to the satirical engravings of William Hogart, Goya's Capricho, as well as the Ashcan School, whose painters were devoted to depicting modern every-day subject matter.
In Burlesck, painter Neil Wedman re-invents these cartoons to create a startling and imaginative wordless narrative--drawings that resurrect the iconographical images of the modern social cartoon, loosely based on material produced in magazines and books between 1945 and 1965. His interpretations, produced in a different format and without their running gags, allow readers to see these familiar figures in an entirely new light--an urban world populated by loners and obsessives, sharing common gestures and concerns. Burlesck explodes old notions of the social caricature while creating an entertaining, stylish, and often funny narrative--a novel told in pictures.


Burlesck plays out like a fever dream of a horny, half-insane Walter Mitty.


- eyeWeekly