Here in New Orleans, contemporary galleries glisten with the wares of artists’ contemplations, beckoning us to sample different paths of logic. Along the Warehouse District’s Julia Street, a seemingly wide range of concerns is evident with a deployment of everything from discarded boxes and Ninth Ward Yats to 3D glasses and mythical organics
Matthews, whose cartoons appeared in Gambit for years (along with every other local publication), has provoked, skewered and amused the New Orleans arts, music and media communities in cartoons and print since making his debut in the now-defunct Figaro in the 1970s. Two compilations of Vic and Nat’ly were published in the 1980s, featuring the flamboyant, buxom Nat’ly and greasy, cigarette-ash dripping Vic (whom Matthews said was modeled after former New Orleans Mayor Vic Schiro).
“Cartoonists take the salient features of the seemingly mundane which normally escape our attention, and blow them up to larger than life proportions, forcing us to acknowledge their emotive qualities.”
Jammin’ on Julia, the annual spring street party in the New Orleans Arts District takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday (April 5). Look for a dozen exhibitions of regional and national artworks augmented by live music in many galleries along Julia Street and nearby. As always, the wide selection of art will hold something to satisfy most taste.
Bunny Matthews new show “The People of New Orleans from A to Z” hangs at the Arthur Roger Gallery throughout March until April 19th, celebrating a closing reception on Saturday the 5th. The series reads like a children’s A to Z book of illustrations on uniformly 17×14 paper, ink, and colored pencil renderings. It is exciting to see cartoon caricatures on the walls at Arthur Roger. The surge of acceptance for comic-style drawing is a late 20th, early 21st century advent, owing nearly everything to New Orleanian George Herriman. Herriman’s “Krazy Kat” strip would be an inspiration to Robert Crumb and eventually Abstract Expressionist Philip Guston. Beginning with the lampooning caricature of Honore Daumier, Daumier’s caricatures have only entered into fine arts education post-feminism.