I am recently back from St Petersburg, Russia from a fascinating visit that featured the opening of a cartoon exhibition at the Russian National Museum of Political History (see above). The exhibition was initiated by the US Consulate in St Petersburg. It included a survey of the history of American and Russian cartoons (You can read about it here in Russian). The Library of Congress lent some cartoons for the show including some classic American cartoons starting with Ben Franklin’s famous “Joy or Die” drawing.
The main body of the exhibition was a display of 43 of my cartoons to showcase the work of a contemporary American artist. Below is the poster from the show.
The opening was an active affair with a great deal of Russian media including television, radio, newspapers and magazines both local and national. The Exhibition was excellently displayed and provided a great launching point for discussions about politics, satire and freedom of expression.
The Director of the Museum Yevgeny Artemov was a dynamic and energetic host, but he did sit down for a few minutes to allow me to sketch him.
As part of my visit, I had the opportunity to visit with a variety of cultural and educational institutions to discuss the exhibition and the craft of editorial cartooning. Below, I am visiting with some students from The School of Journalism, St Petersburg State University.
I even woke up one morning to see my picture on the front page of the St Petersburg Times (The Russian one!).
For those Russian speakers you might enjoy this interview recently conducted by Maria Tabak
US Correspondent for┬áRIA Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency). The conversation took place at the recent Art Soiree Cartoon exhibition in Washington DC. The only word I recognize is “Economist”. If any one can read it please let me know how I sound in Russian.
I drew this cartoon for The Economist. This prompted a call from the BBC to discuss the symbol of the Russian bear. Symbols like the Bear, Eagle, dragon (see post below), Uncle Sam, Lady liberty etc. have long been used by cartoonists as a kind of visual shorthand.┬á
The bear had been a staple of for cartoonists during the Cold War.┬áI explained to the BBC I hadn’t used the bear symbol for a time. ┬áIt was interesting for me to return to the familiar old friend. More interesting was how using only the smallest of hints (a shadow with round ears and a black hairy claw) it is not difficult to conclude that the old bear symbol is back.No comments