Comics and Graphic Design | Art Loft 802 Full Episode

February 24, 2020 0 By Bernardo Ryan


[Announcer] Art Loft is brought to you by, [Announcer] Where there is freedom, there
is expression. The Florida Keys and Key West. [Announcer] The Miami-Dade County Tourist
Development Council, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Cultural
Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor, and the Board of County Commissioners. And the Friends of South Florida PBS. [Announcer] Art Loft, it’s the pulse of what’s
happening in our own back yard, as well as a taste of the arts across the United States. [Irvin] They had an urgency about them, there
is something very topical. [Announcer] In this episode, graphic art mixes
with the universe of caricature, comics, and political cartoons. [Francis] Some of his caricatures got him
in a little bit of trouble. My name is Francis Luca, I’m the chief librarian
here at the Wolfsonian, Florida International University. I’m the curator of this installation that’s
looking at Conrado Walter Massaguer, a Cuban publisher, art director, illustrator, and
caricaturist. He was born in Cuba in 1889. He actually left and fled with his family
when the Spaniards invaded during one of the Independence Wars, and so he grew up kind
of bi-culturally, and multi-culturally, and so I think for that reason, he was influenced
no only by the artwork in Cuba, but what was happening in the Modernist Movement all around
the world. He actually introduced the modernist aesthetic
to Cuba, with a lot of art deco design covers for his magazines. “Social” was one of his most important magazines,
and that one aimed at an elite audience, so this was designed to get the who’s who of
Cuba interested in modernism. He had an entire section in “Social” magazine
called MassaGirls. Which is a play on his name, sounds like Massaguer,
MassaGirl, and what he was doing with that was showcasing this new woman that had suddenly
appeared, first on the American scene, and then he helped import into Cuba. He loved beautiful young women, he was a little
bit of a machista in that way, but he wasn’t so thrilled about their being so outspoken
and liberated, that I think, was a little bit threatening to him, as well. So you sort of see that little bit of ambivalence
in these kinds of portraits. He was also very famous for his caricatures,
in fact, that’s how he’s mostly known today. And he did over the span of a lifetime, tens
of thousands of caricatures. And he did them in a very modernist style. He said the best caricatures are done on the
sly, with a furtive hand, where you’re just sketching them and they don’t even know that
you’re sketching them. Some of his caricatures got him in a little
bit of trouble. He was not shy of expressing his disdain for
certain Cuban presidents. You look at Machado sitting in the chair,
not so handsome, and then you look at the portrait that’s being done, and it’s, oh,
he’s young and handsome, it’s a completely different individual. Massaguer spent a lot of time working for
the tourism industry in Cuba, which began in 1919. Since this exhibit focuses exclusively on
the work of Conrado Massaguer, I wanted to sort of show him in the context of some of
the other contemporary caricaturists from Latin America, and so it’s called caricaturas. Once Castro’s revolutionaries seized power,
Massaguer continued to live in Cuba, though in relative obscurity until his death in 1965. Here is someone who was the cultural ambassador
for all of these visitors, especially from the United States, and all of a sudden, there
are no visitors from the United States after 1959. He ends up working in the Cuban National Archives,
just spending out his remaining days there. To me, the most important thing about this
exhibition, is the fact that we can showcase this artist who was well known, well renowned
in his period, but has sort of been eclipsed because of more than 50 years of strange relations
between Cuba and the United States. And his artwork is reflective of this earlier
period, this period of warm relations, and cordial relations. [Announcer] Visit wolfsonian.org and click
what’s on for current exhibitions and installations. [Jacqueline] George Segal is a pop artist,
who to me, stands out amongst all his contemporaries, like Warhol, and Lichtenstein. Whereas Warhol and Lichtenstein were looking
at the messages encoded within marketing or media, Segal is interested in the consumer
themselves, and the codes sort of embedded in our bodies, and the languages that our
bodies kind of carry within themselves. He glorified the figure, and made it the central
subject of his work. George Segal’s work is great, and that it
doesn’t require a lot of explanation, people just look at it, and they understand it. The viewer gets to directly engage with them,
they all take their own liberties. Like some people sit next to them, some people
just look at them. Of course it’s a popular place to sit and
take a picture of yourself. I’ve seen children talking to the sculptures,
or you can stand inside of these galleries and sort of watch how other people interact
with it. It’s amazing to see how varied all of those
responses are. It’s kind of an amazing social experiment
that isn’t exactly intentional. And it is, it’s sort of heartening to see
that relationship that you can directly have with a work of art. [Announcer] Institute of Contemporary Art
Miami offers free admission every day. Check out their current exhibits on Instagram. It’s wonderful, because I never, like insisted
that she do art, and she just comes to me if she wants advice on something. We sit in the studio together sometimes and
work, and listen to music. I stole his markers. It’s like a brush tip and a fine tip. Hi, I’m John Hunt, I’m an illustrator and
a writer. I’m Emma Hunt, and, I would say I’m an illustrator. Well the anthology’s actually put together
by Tate’s. They solicit people to submit comics, and
last year I submitted a comic and did the cover. This year I just did the cover. This is the anthology from last year, where
I did the cover, and then this was this year’s cover, for the 10th anniversary. I must have done 10 or 12 different ideas,
sketches. Because we’re in the anthology, they also
allowed us all to set up tables at the event that they had, and sell our work, and sign
the comics. And since it’s comic books, you know, when
I was growing up, there was barely anything around, but now this is kind of a Mecca for
people to travel to. It was an honor, because I didn’t think I
would be in the book, I was like, oh, I might not get in, ’cause there’s like a lot of adults
doing it. And actually, this year I think it was four
like younger girls, got into the book and we all sold stuff, and it was really cool
to see them there, because I was like, oh, I have more people doing what I’m doing at
a young age. It’s called “A Simple Day in a Simple Forest.” Since I was a kid I was just drawn to science
fiction and fantasy, I loved classical art, but I wanted to paint stuff that didn’t exist. And I found things like comics and storyboards,
and fantasy and science fiction books were what really allowed me to do that sort of
work. I don’t do a lot of sequential comic work,
although I do storyboards for TV commercials, and things like that. I do a lot of images for book covers, posters,
album covers, I’ve been doing a lot of recently, ’cause vinyl is kind of making a comeback. I was trained watercolor and oils, and probably
only about 25, 30% of what I do now is actual painting. I do a lot of stuff digitally. This is actually a digital painting. I did this for a game. And I still do a lot of drawing by hand, so
I’ll draw this by hand, scan it, and then do the painting in Photoshops. Something I really like to work with in my
work, whether it’s digital or watercolors, is lighting. Like I loved old artists like Rembrandt and
Caravaggio who used like chiaroscuro. And so I love having a super broad range of
values, I love dark stuff. I don’t really draw realistic stuff, I really
like, like sci-fi. And I like make little clay sculptures, and
then I paint them, and then I string them. And this is also fan art, from a Studio Ghibli
film, they’re called Ohms, and they’re like these big bug creatures, and this is watercolor,
and mixed with pencil. Working in a studio by yourself it can get
to be a drag after a while, I guess it comes back to the community thing I was saying,
that Tate’s is trying to foster. And she gets to see all these people that
are actually doing this for a living, you know, doing art and making money from it. [Announcer] Follow John and Emma Hunt on Instagram
to see their latest art projects. I’m Carla Stansifer, I’m the curator of Japanese
art at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. This is anime architecture. This exhibit features four films that came
out between 1988 and 2004. These films are all anime, which is the Japanese
animation process, and they are all sciif, and they all also encapsulate a realistic
style, so that’s what each of the films have in common. And you know, anime is a multi-billion dollar
business today. The original curator of the exhibition, Stefan
Riekeles, from Berlin, he started this project back in 2008, and he was fortunate enough
to go into studios, meet with the animators, and look at some of their work, and he was
really interested in the process of anime making. It’s amazing, you have hundreds of artists
working together to create one film. And he talks about how a lot of the artists
were hesitant to put their art in frames and on the wall, they didn’t see it as art, they
saw it as just a small part of this whole production. The curator went with the backgrounds and
not just the characters. For example, in the Japanese anime process,
the voice-overs come last. You know, in a Disney production, they come
first. But in Japan it’s the opposite. They have a much greater emphasis on the environment
and movement. “Ghost in the Shell” came out in 1995, and
it’s based on a very popular manga series. We really can’t underestimate the importance
of this film. The people who created “The Matrix” say flat
out, that this film inspired them. And the entire film is about artificial intelligence
in the future. But how this artificial intelligence interacts
with the technology, with the machinery, and really they’re talking about what it means
to be human. For this film we featured some of the hand-drawn
drawings by Takeuchi Atsushi, and then we have the paintings of Ogura Hiromasa, which
actually appear in the film. So you can see that development process, how
they go from the raw images and ideas, into the more technical details and drawings, and
the final product. And the feel and the emotion that comes out. It’s almost as if the background and the environment
is its own character in the film, they really want to emphasize that. We do have some photograph as well, and location
photograph is very important. Remember these artist were going for realism,
and the director, Oshii Mamoru, not only worked on anime, but he also worked on liveactions. And he thought, “Well why don’t we do that
for anime?” And I love to point out this piece right here. He snapped this picture in a shop after he’d
gone in, his lens sort of clouded over. And then this is what his art team did with
it. And I love it, because we’re not just seeing
a copy, they’re not copying what they saw, they were inspired by this. You can see they added some signage, they
added a building over here. I’d also like to point out in this piece,
again, it’s a watercolor on paper by Ogura Hiromasa, and this one would have been captured
on film for the final product. You see these dark colors here, it has this
nice, broody tone to it, but when that transfers to film, a lot of that gets washed out, but
Ogura was a master at finding just the right mix to create these darker tones, and still
keep them vibrant. This piece here is from the film “Patlabor”,
which came out in 1989. And if you look very closely at this piece,
you’ll see a few little bits of tape across the top, and that’s because there are actually
three layers here. Why would they do that? Why would they go to all that trouble? Well in this particular scene, we have a flock
of birds that flies through the frame, and so we had to have space in between those buildings,
and they were moving at different camera speeds, and how complicated it gets just for a flock
of birds to fly across screen. Around 1997, the anime industry moved to entirely
digital productions, from concept design, through to the final piece, was all digital. And it was this great wave, this great change,
that took over the studios, especially throughout Tokyo. And today there are only five studios left
that can do handdrawn backgrounds. [Announcer] Explore the century old link between
Japan and South Florida, at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. Check their website for their latest exhibits
and events. Next up, Ohio, where WOSU public media profiles
artist Jeffry Stahler, who’s political humor spans six US presidents. Watercolor is the toughest medium. You can’t back up. Once you’ve started, you cannot put another
color on top of it, it makes mud. So you have to work very fast. A plein air artist is the type of artist that
will work in the environment, that they’re outdoors, typically. Plein air is a French word, it means outdoor
painter. And I started doing it only about four or
five years ago. Schiller Park is a beautiful park, it’s a
22 acre park that sits in German Village. It’s a park that attracts a lot of dogs, and
a lot of people, a lot of walkers, a lot of runners. It’s so nice to plein air paint, ’cause you
get outside, you get away from it all, it’s very relaxing, its’ not that the cartooning
is, it’s just a whole different animal. I’m a graduate of the Columbus College of Art and
Design. I graduated in advertising, with an illustration
minor. I worked for several years in advertising,
but I always wanted to cartoon. I did some cartooning for a magazine, actually
a weekly newspaper in Columbus, Ohio. I was able to open another door, and it opened
for me in Cincinnati, Ohio. And I was a cartoonist for them, at the Cincinnati
Post, for 22 years. Editorial cartoon is a cartoon with a point
of view. Trying to find a little bit of humor in it,
but typically, it’s gonna fall on an opinion page, so wants to have, and an editor wants
to have an opinion associated with the cartoon. It might not be funny, but many times, you
know, I’m hoping that it is. When I got into editorial cartooning, back
in the early ’80s, I think I was right at the beginning of the Reagan administration,
so I’ve worked through all the presidents since him. And they’re all a challenge, and some of ’em
are easier than others. I started as a onepanel cartoonist doing editorial
cartoons, and so I got that science of that type of gag down, I felt very comfortable,
then moving on to doing “Moderately Confused”, which is a social commentary, on a different
level, but appearing on comic pages. I’m contracted to do three to four editorial
cartoons every week, and I do six daily panels for “Moderately Confused”, so it’s a total
of nine cartoons, nine to 10 cartoons that I do every week. I work four weeks in advanced on “Moderately
Confused”, whereas an editorial cartoon, I do it, I put it out the next day. You have to have thick skin in this business,
but you know, it’s so rewarding, it’s so much fun. And people always ask, “So what’s your favorite
cartoon?” And it’s the one I did today. They have an urgency about them, there’s something
very topical. So the exhibition, “Beyond the Cape!” is really
looking at those artists who were inspired by comics, but in different ways. They’re about the environment, politics, race
relations. There are many artists like Lichtenstein and
Warhol, who were influenced by comics, by pop culture. But this you’ll find, are artists who really
are telling a story that’s sometimes quite deep, quite dark. Kerry James Marshall is looking at the streets
of Chicago. William Wiley’s “Tapestry” is looking at the
shooting of a man, who police thought he was pulling out a gun, but in fact, he was pulling
out his wallet. I’m finding right now in this moment, just
kind of seeing my work against these other artist’s work, is that they’re actually speaking
clearly, without holding back about what is actually important to them, and what’s actually
happening in the period of time they are living. My name is Mark Thomas Gibson, I’m originally
from Miami, Florida. I am an artist, I’m also an assistant professor
at Temple University, Tyler School of Art. I kind of play with pop culture, I play with
comics, I play with history, I play with like little bits of everything. This book at a lot to do with this idea of
utopia. Once I actually started engaging with the
practice of drawing, then I start to formulate whatever my actual answer is about that subject. In the case, this one was utopia, and so by
the end of it, I actually come to an answer for myself. And I don’t think I could actually find that
type of answer any other way. Every page is an individual drawing. 350 of them, I tell the narrative of my main
character. I use as like my protagonist, a werewolf character,
in which is the idea of someone who has been traumatized, but then now is a traumatizer. I think about that a lot in America. How we have a lot of that, that kind of continuously
seems to happen, where people become traumatized by either being economically oppressed, or
being, seeing a lovedone murdered, or seeing culture act and respond to them as an other,
when they actually are a part of the fabric of this country. And then that gets passed on, like to your
kid, that gets passed on to your community. Some of them become paintings, some of them
do not. Most of them do not. But in this case, this would later become
“Library One and Two”. I wanted to kind of show an area that had
been lived in, and kind of overgrown in thought. My main character in this narrative that this
comes from, don’t really know even what time period it is that he’s in, so you have like
a sword, and kind of a hilt, and kind of a spear, but you have books that are kind of
contemporary. So there’s “Utopia”, of course, and then there’s
“Beloved”, you know, by the great Toni Morrison. I think about books that I’ve read growing
up, that told me something, or made me think about relationships that are around slavery,
relationships that are around American expansionism, all these things that we kind of think about
when we’re talking around America, is these kind of canons of like, who are we? Where are we? Part of what I figured out in this whole “Utopian”
thing, was that, it really kind of comes down to communication, it’s that we have to actually
work with each other, to actually navigate what is what we want. This exhibition I think is yet another good
example of what we have been pretty good at here, and that is to break the boundaries
between these silos of art forms. Where you have the graphic novel, the comic,
and you have fine art. Well here, you have this sort of blending
of the two. And it was kind of hard, because when you
would have that kind of influence in your life, and you would go to an art school, per
se, they’d say “Oh, that’s not art”, and they would throw that aside, kind of demean it
or demote it. Many people throughout history actually worked
within illustration, worked within political art, worked within caricature. It’s really kind of embedded in art practice. And if you go all the way back to Lascaux
and look at those, like, caves, I mean, there’s some caricaturism going on in that as well. So the way in which we kind of think through
narrative and sequential art, it’s always been present. [Announcer] Artist Mark Thomas Gibson has
so much work to explore on his Instagram. Find him at Darth Gibson. See what the Boca Museum of Art is up to @bocamuseum. Continue the conversation online. Art Loft is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
@artloftsfl. [Announcer] Art Loft is brought to you by, [Announcer] Where there is freedom, there
is expression. The Florida Keys and Key West. [Announcer] The Miami-Dade County Tourist
Development Council. the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural
Affairs, and the Cultural Affairs Council. The Miami-Dade County Mayor, and the Board
of County Commissioners, and the Friends of South Florida PBS.