White Cube

Brecht Vandenbrouke. Drawn & Quarterly, $21.95 hardcover (64p) ISBN 978-1-77046-139-0
The worlds of fine art and comics have never been closer, with a new generation of cartoonists regularly crossing over to galleries, as well as creating handmade books that are also works of art. This connection isn’t often examined in the comics themselves, though. Belgian cartoonist Vandenbrouke takes an abstract approach, providing surreal art commentary in the form of a gag comic strip that follows the hijinks of two hot-pink-skinned identical art-loving bald guys as they visit museums, buy art, and are cruel to a well-meaning kid who offers them facile but cheerful handmade art works. Vandenbrouke’s two provocateurs share a sensibility similar to that of Jacques Tati and Jerry Lewis at their finest—though these tales are perhaps more cynical. Sometimes the gags take the surrealism literally or play on lauded art techniques. At other times the jokes take aim at the art world itself—particularly its alienating and elitist quality. Vandenbrouke’s critique of the art world is a colorful, subtle, playful meditation, and also a pointed one. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 03/01/2014
Genre: Comics
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