The Paper Jam Comics Collective released their latest anthology, Art ...And That, at a whirlwind evening of arts excitement in Durham last week organised by the excellent people of the DLI Museum & Gallery and Empty Shop.
A proper write up with photos and everything by the illustrious Andy Waugh can be read here.
Art ...And That was commissioned for the event and was put together very quickly (by Mr Waugh with cover by Mr Bainbridge), yet thanks to the increasingly skillful PJCC contributors, it is full of top-notch work. The concept was to talk about a particular fairly well-known artist or piece of 'gallery art' via the medium of comics - and some genuinely thought-provoking work came out of it.
My own piece, 'De/Re-Recontextualisation', was borne of a profound distaste for recent nonsense such as Icelandic "artist" Erro copying Brian Bolland Tank Girl art and claiming it as his own. That kind of thing seems to pretty much sum up a certain segment of contemporary 'gallery artists' and their smug, self-congratulatory, meaningless, creatively-bankrupt attitudes, particularly towards 'low art' like comics. Bolland's riposte (in the link above) is totally spot on and is essential reading for anyone with an interest in the place of comics in the Art world.
It's not always so simple though. I've always liked Roy Lichtenstein's work with its tongue-in-cheek hyper-melodrama (plus I suppose the concept of recontextualisation was more novel in the Pop Art era), but still the inherent imbalances about credit for such work prove difficult to digest. Anyway, enough blathering, you should make up your own minds. Great artists apparently don't need to explain their work, and I won't either. Suffice to say, the anthology is smashing and anyone with an interest in art or comics should purchase it.