Thursday, February 28, 2013

Is the American Editorial Cartoon Making a Comeback?

A little over a year ago, I wrote about The Herb Block Foundation’s gloom and doom report titled The Golden Age for Editorial Cartoonists at the Nation’s Newspapers is Over. Founded by legendary editorial cartoonist, Herbert Block, aka, Herblock, The Herb Block Foundation strives mightily to keep the tradition of the American editorial cartoon alive. Bound to the rapidly dying corpse of the American newspaper industry, American editorial cartooning seemed headed for the grave. News that Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow (some of his work shown above), will receive the 2013 Herblock Prize, however, might be a sign that the American editorial cartoon is making a comeback—not dying on dead trees, but coming alive with new technologies and social media. The phrase “see you in the funny pages” might be more of a thing of the past than ever. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "Is the American Editorial Cartoon Making aComeback?"

[Image: Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow. “The Return of Droney” (detail, click here for full comic), This Modern World, October 1, 2012.]  
[Many thanks to Dan Perkins, aka Tom Tomorrow, for his permission to run the image shown above.]

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

How the Restored Raphael Frescoes Hang over Pope Benedict XVI’s Departure

When the College of Cardinals convenes next month in the Sistine Chapel to elect the successor to Pope Benedict XVI, Michelangelo’s majestic ceiling will hang over them while his Last Judgment passes silent judgment over their deliberations. But a different set of frescoes by a different Renaissance master also hang over the still-puzzling resignation of the pontiff. A conservation team recently completed the 30-year task of restoring Raphael’s Room of Heliodorus, so named for the fresco titled The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple (shown above) and one of the private papal stanza. Pope Benedict XVI claims it is time for him to step down, but I doubt he timed his departure to coincide with the Raphael restoration’s completion. The coincidence, however, provides plenty of visual food for thought about the reign of the former Joseph Ratzinger and its enigmatic end. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "How the Restored Raphael Frescoes Hang over PopeBenedict XVI’s Departure."

[Image: Raphael. The Expulsion of Heliodorus from the Temple (pre-restoration), 1512-1514. Image source.]

Monday, February 25, 2013

What Makes Art Critics Change Their Minds?

Nothing hurts like a blown call. Baseball’s bittersweet beauty owes much to moments such as Umpire Jim Joyce’s missing a call to rob Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Armando Galarraga of a perfect game, that rarest of baseball feats, in 2010. In baseball, calls are irreversible. In the world of art criticism, however, a blown call can be reversed, sometimes years and years later. In the February 2013 issue of Art News, Ann Landi chronicles cases of art critics changing their minds. Split Decisions: When Critics Change Their Minds gently, but firmly pulls away the curtain of infallibility from the world of art critics, whether they like it or not. But more important than documenting these moments of minds changed is raising the question of what makes art critics change their minds. Please come over to Picture This at Big Think to read more of "What Makes Art Critics Change Their Minds?"

[Image: Cy Twombly. Fifty Days at Iliam. Shield of Achilles, 1978. Oil, oil crayon, and graphite on canvas.]